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Expanding Access to Behavioral Health Services in Summit

July 30, 2019

A new mother with postpartum depression; a middle-age executive with suicidal thoughts; an adolescent feeling isolated from his peers; a college student struggling with anxiety; a 92-year-old suffering from dementia; a construction worker addicted to alcohol and opioids – these are just some of the friends, family members or neighbors in our community who could benefit from behavioral health services.

“There is growing acceptance for the role of mental and behavioral health services in our communities – and that’s refreshing,” says Peter Bolo, MD, chair, Psychiatry and Behavioral Health Services at Overlook Medical Center.

“There is much less stigma associated with mental health issues today, and so we’re seeing increasing numbers of people – particularly millennials – accessing mental health treatment for a range of issues. We know much more about the brain and the biological basis of behavioral health problems than ever before,” comments Dr. Bolo, who recently celebrated his 20th anniversary at Overlook. “People today realize that seeking help for a mental health issue doesn’t mean they are a weak or bad person. It means they are being open and honest with themselves and others.”

“Greater media attention surrounding mental illness has also helped debunk stereotypes,” Dr. Bolo adds. “When people see athletes and celebrities talk about their treatment for depression, anxiety, or posttraumatic stress, for example, it helps break down barriers.”

Insurance coverage is another factor, points out Dr. Bolo. Payers today provide benefits for a broad array of mental health and substance abuse treatment programs.

New Location Doubles Access

To expand access to its comprehensive range of behavioral health services, Atlantic Behavioral Health Access Center at Overlook Medical Center has relocated its outpatient offices to a new, 5,000-square-foot space at 2 Walnut Street in Summit. The Walnut Street location nearly doubles the size of the previous outpatient behavioral health services space, which was housed in a modified residential building owned by Overlook on Beauvoir Avenue.

“Since the majority of behavioral health services are provided on an outpatient basis, moving to a larger, more modern and adaptable space will allow us to serve more than the 900 patients we welcomed last year,” explains Dr. Bolo.

The Walnut Street location offers traditional outpatient therapy, mental health and substance misuse intensive outpatient programs, and medication management. There are three group therapy rooms, a conference room, a kitchen with eating space, and plenty of parking. On-site psychiatrists, psychologists, clinicians, and an advance practice nurse provide coordinated care for patients of all ages with depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, peri- and postpartum depression, addiction, mood disorders, and more. Both inpatient and outpatient electroconvulsive therapy and inpatient stabilization of complications of dementia are available in the main hospital building.

Call Overlook’s Access Center for Outpatient Care at 1-888-247-1400 if you or someone you know wants information about behavioral health services. The center can schedule appointments for various behavioral health services, check insurance eligibility and provide referrals. In all cases, patient confidentiality is strictly maintained.

For more information about inpatient and outpatient behavioral health services at Overlook Medical Center, visit atlantichealth.org.
 

43.8 million adults (1 in 5) in America experience a mental illness.”

– National Alliance on Mental Illness and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration