Mental health services combine resources

Posted at 10:39 AM, Apr 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-19 19:47:04-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Isolation and heightened anxiety caused by COVID-19 are leading to an increase in mental health crises, so now, three of the area’s largest providers of emotional and substance abuse health care are combining resources.

Network180, Pine Rest and Forest View are all partnering up to not only address the influx of new crises, but also to alleviate the burden on already overcrowded emergency departments.

“Whether that’s depression, substance abuse, anxiety disorders — we want them to reach out to one of the three partner organizations before going to the emergency department,” said Kristin Spykerman, chief clinical officer at Network180.

“We want people to know that they can get help for those crises right over the telephone, right over Skype visits.”

And all three organizations are offering both. Any time of day, for as many days as you need, you can call and be connected with a mental health or substance abuse professional.

Deemed essential, each organization is still open and offering their usual in-patient, partial hospitalizations, therapy and urgent care as normal.

It’s just an extra step in a time where mental health is increasingly important but also increasingly under attack.

“We’re definitely seeing an increase in depression and anxiety," Spykerman said. "We know that isolation isn’t good for people — that’s not really how we’re meant to interact with each other. And then also an increase in substance abuse disorder. Nationally, alcohol sales are up 55% since the COVID-19 crisis started.”

Annually, 15,000 people in Kent County visit the emergency department for behavioral health crises.

The lines for phone calls and Skype are open 24/7.

Network180: (616) 336-3909
Forest View: (800) 949-8439
Pine Rest: (800) 678-5500 or (616) 455-9200