In 1989, the month of September became officially known as National Recovery Month. A time to highlight the nation’s strong and proud recovery community, and raise awareness that recovery, in all forms, is possible. In September 2023, Meritus Health took a significant step in bringing services to the region to help aid in the recovery process by opening two dedicated facilities – a walk-in mental health clinic and an expanded inpatient crisis center.
The Mental Health Walk-In Care facility is conveniently located at Meritus Medical Center 11116 Medical Campus Road, Hagerstown, MD. Patients must enter through the Orange/Mental Wellness Entrance on campus.
The development of the Mental Health Walk-In Care facility falls in line with the health system’s mission to "Improve the Health of the Community." Meritus partnered with Brook Lane Health Services to provide support for patients aged 6 years old and older.
“Our collaboration with Brook Lane is a key part of this project. Together, we recognize the importance of addressing mental health challenges in our community,” said Allen Twigg, executive director of community and behavioral health.
“This partnership allows us to combine expertise, resources and dedication to promptly treat mental health needs, and provide a path to ongoing care. Our shared goal is to foster long-term mental well-being for our community,” he added.
In addition to the Mental Health Walk-In Care facility, the health system also expanded the Meritus Crisis Center program from three beds to six. This is an inpatient unit designed to support individuals aged 18 and older who are struggling with addiction.
The Meritus Crisis Center builds upon a successful pilot initiative that offered three crisis stabilization beds. During the pilot, Meritus achieved an impressive 82% linkage rate with treatment upon discharge. The unit provides a safe environment for individuals struggling with substance abuse while they await a treatment program.
“We understand the profound challenges posed by addiction and aim to provide a safe and supportive environment for recovery,” Twigg said.
According to Meritus Health’s most recent Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA), a concerning trend was indicated -- a steady increase in drug overdose fatalities in Washington County over the last decade, at a rate higher than the state average. The CHNA is a systematic process and report that examines the health concerns in a particular area.
“This underscores the urgency of our efforts to expand mental health services and addiction support,” Twigg said.
The opening of the Mental Health Walk-In Care facility, along with the expansion of the Meritus Crisis Center, represents a represents a significant step forward in improving access to timely and effective behavioral health care.
“Our dedicated team is committed to supporting the well-being of our community and ensuring that everyone has access to the care they need,” Twigg said.
For more information on these services and how they can benefit you or your loved ones, please visit MeritusHealth.com/MentalHealth.