This program called START provides a coordinated care experience for patients with urgent mental health and addiction needs.
YORK COUNTY, Pa. – WellSpan Health has opened a single clinic for vulnerable patients with mental health and substance use disorders.
This program called START, also known as a specialized treatment and recovery team, provides a coordinated care experience for patients with urgent mental health and addiction needs.
The program surrounds patients with personalized resources and services in the right place and at the right time, reducing travel to the emergency department.
“It’s a program focused on the question of what matters most to you right now and how we can help with it,” said Dr. Mitchell Crawford, director of addiction services at WellSpan Health.
Crawford also said all the features of the building’s layout and staff have the patient at the center.
“Every aspect of this program was designed, be it the color of the wall, the paintings that are there, the design of the buildings, the staff that is there, the programs that we offer,” Crawford said.
Several clinicians and staff have been recruited into the program to create an inclusive environment during treatment.
“When they see that your suppliers are of similar culture, background or ethnicity, there is a level of comfort, of course you establish an easy relationship,” said Abigail Frimpong, CRNP.
WellSpan’s Start program has partnered with Community Action for Recovery and Diversion (CARD).
This initiative helps people receive treatment instead of being imprisoned when they are charged with minor crimes related to mental health and addictive diseases.
The office will have probation and preventive officers on site to work with these people to get proper care.
Amy Evans, director of the program, said that as her partnership continues to grow, it could positively affect many residents.
“I hope we will have hundreds of connections between the justice system and the Start Center over the next year,” Evans said. “I think this partnership is growing and developing and encompassing other community care providers that can affect thousands of York County citizens each year.
The certified community behavioral health clinic opened to patients on May 3rd. The program began seeing patients remotely in December 2020 due to the pandemic and has cared for more than 400 people.
RELATED: Pennsylvanians are addressing the long-term impacts of unemployment on their mental health
RELATED: The mental health initiative in Dauphin County helps keep people out of jail