CVS Health is rolling out mental health counseling at some of its MinuteClinics in order to give communities better access to the service.
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The company first kicked off its effort at five MinuteClinics inside CVS HealthHUB store locations in Houston, Texas, where CVS says some residents are currently suffering from a decline in mental health.
“As of late February 2021, roughly 3-in-10 Houston adults reported feeling anxious or on edge for more than half the days in an average week,” the company said in a statement in March.
A CVS pharmacy is seen in Orlando, Fla., on Feb. 2, 2011. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
Those feelings were only “exacerbated by isolation, loss of a loved one, fear for a family member’s health or fear of the inability to pay rent during the pandemic,” underscoring the notion that these counseling services are coming at a vital time.
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After its rollout in Houston, the services were added to select Florida, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Texas locations, according to CVS’ website.
Patients are able to receive mental health assessments, referrals, counseling and personalized care plans from the on-site licensed clinical social workers. Virtual appointments are also available.
Traditionally, it can be a “significant struggle for individuals, families and even providers trying to navigate the traditional mental health care system,” Ashley Karpinski, CVS director of behavioral health strategy and innovation, said.
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Now, community members are able to receive care without needing a physician referral.
“If you’re worried and not sure where to turn, you can start with MinuteClinic,” Karpinski said.