New resources for mental health

Published 11:30 am Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Crossroads Community Services Board (CSB), which services Lunenburg County and has a campus located outside the Town of Farmville, can evaluate people for their mental health needs on the same day that they come to Crossroads to seek treatment.

Crossroads is one of 40 CSBs across Virginia that now offers same day access, meaning that rather than waiting days or weeks to receive an assessment of one’s mental health, they can receive the assessment the day they come to the Crossroads medical office.

“A person in need of a mental health evaluation can now access walk-in hours at any CSB throughout Virginia without an appointment, instead of waiting days or even weeks to receive an assessment,” a release from the Office of the Governor cited about the same day access program. “(Same day access) marks a dramatic shift from addressing mental health needs only when a crisis occurs to utilizing preventive care to help avoid emergencies and hospital admissions.”

Director of Outpatient Services Michele Ebright said that Crossroads has had same day access since August 2018. Those seeking mental health treatment can come to Crossroads, receive an assessment by a licensed mental health professional that lasts approximately an hour-and-a-half, and make an appointment to see the psychiatrist or nurse practitioner.

While Ebright said the psychiatrist or nurse practitioner typically have full schedules and often require an appointment, some patients have been able to see them on the same day they come to the Crossroads campus. A lot of work still needs to be done to make mental health solutions more accessible, more timely and closer to the Lunenburg area. This may be an important first step to providing comprehensive and successful options for mental health treatment.

Mental illness, such as depression, anxiety, substance abuse or other illnesses can often be stigmatized, not something that is openly discussed. Sometimes mental health is not seen as important as physical health.

If you are considering seeking treatment for a mental health condition, consider this column as a sign and an encouragement to do so. I personally see a counselor to address anxiety issues, which has taught me an enormous amount about myself, how to be a better person and reporter, and how to understand and care for myself mentally.

To learn more about Crossroads, visit the office at 214 Bush River Drive in Farmville or call (434) 392-3187.

Emily Hollingsworth is a staff reporter for The Kenbridge-Victoria Dispatch and Farmville Newsmedia LLC. Her email address is Emily.