One of the most discouraging things for emergency room psychiatrist Tamir Aldad, is the thousands of mental health patients who don't qualify for in-patient care and are sent home without adequate treatment. Dr. Aldad will often see the same patients again, with worsening symptoms.
With twenty percent of Americans afflicted with some form of mental illness, only about half get the treatment required. That leaves nearly 22 million people suffering without help.
Filling an Unmet Need
Aldad had an idea to provide a solution and launched a business to that end. The physician decided to get his MBA at The University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and with other students and investors is launching Mindful Urgent Care, an outpatient walk-in clinic for mental health services.
Waiting time to get an appointment with a psychiatrist can take weeks, especially in underserved areas and though there is a shortage of psychiatrists, there is no shortage of people who suffer from depression, anxiety, PTSD, addiction and a host of other disorders, not to mention the massive opioid epidemic that is found in every community of the country.
Staffed with what Dr. Aldad calls "physician extenders" to supplement the psychiatric personnel, patients will get immediate treatment with necessary medication to help stabilize them and alleviate severe suffering. The nurse practitioners, physician's assistants and other mental health clinicians will give a greater coverage to more people than psychiatrists alone.
Hope for Those Who Suffer
No doubt others will follow Aldad's model and other retail facilities for mental health will open in locales across the nation and become as recognizable as Walgreen's. And that can only be a good thing. Greater accessibility to behavioral health may not only improve the state of mental health in America, but also reduce the stigma associated with it.
To learn more about this and related services, visit the Mental Health section of our blog.