Delaware Public Media

First State announces new pop-up clinic for mental health referrals

Mar 27, 2019

The state has opened another new facility for treating substance abuse disorder and mental illness.

The Bridge Clinic off Route-13 in New Castle does not require appointments.

It’s open during the day on weekdays and is staffed by residents from Delaware’s Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health as well as social workers and peer mentors.

DSAHM Director Elizabeth Romero says the facility offers mental health screening and referrals.

“They can come get an assessment and then get navigated to the next step,” said Romero. “So our goal is not to be treating people in the long term, but to connect them to a provider that will actually be their behavioral health home.”

Romero adds this fills a gap in care for mental health patients who may have been released from a psychiatric facility because they don’t quite qualify through Medicaid as having a severe and persistent mental illness. She says many of these patients are on waiting lists to receive treatment from a psychiatrist.

“Because we have such a shortage of psychiatric as well as services in our state,” she said. “So we would screen and assess, identify the level of care and then navigate them to where they need to be.”

The clinic also offers naloxone and naloxone training and all of its services are available regardless of a patient’s ability to pay.

The announcement for the Bridge Clinic comes little over a month after Delaware announced new state-funded sober living homes in Bear.

But unlike the Bear facilities, which required a $1.2 million investment from the state, the new clinic is being piloted entirely with grants from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.  Romero says similar pop-up clinics are planned for Kent and Sussex Counties.