It’s been serving residents since the start of the year, but London’s first mental health walk-in clinic officially opens to the public on Tuesday.
Family Service Thames Valley has already seen strong demand for the Quick Access Mental Health Clinic, which provides one-off counselling sessions to those in need.
Every Tuesday between 1p.m. and 7p.m. teens, adults, families and couples can walk into the clinic at 125 Woodward Ave without an appointment and see a psychotherapist for up to 90 minutes.
Director of Client Services Kevin Dickins said they’re helping to fill a gap in the community that keeps people out of crowded emergency rooms.
“We found that there was an opportunity [where] we could really step forward and serve those people who don’t identify as being in a crisis, but still need immediate access to mental health support,” Dickins said.
That could include people dealing with anxiety and low self-esteem, or those stressed out about work or money.
“It’s meant to meet the needs of the person and be a one-off where they get the tools and the resources they need to sustain where they’re at, so they don’t escalate to a point of crisis,” he said.
A pilot project began in January, serving over two dozen people within the first two days, and since then Dickins said they’ve made a few improvements.
The clinic charges a fee based on the patient’s income, and anyone in need of more support will be referred for more counselling or to other services in the community.
The clinic’s public launch was scheduled to coincide with Mental Health Week.