It’s hard to think of something that you can’t buy at Walmart. It’s one of those stores where you can fill your cart with an eclectic mix of items like bananas, shoes and a TV. You can even buy some things that don’t exactly fit in your cart.
It’s convenient having so many products and services offered under one room, and now you can add one more service to that list – mental health.
There’s often a stigma around mental health issues which sometimes prevents people from seeking help or looking into where to go to seek help. That’s what Beacon Health Options is hoping to change.
Beacon Health Options, a behavioral health services company based out of Boston, recently leased space inside a Walmart in Carrollton, Texas, which is just north of Dallas. To clarify, Walmart is not running the clinic; this is entirely the idea of Beacon Health Options.
The clinic inside Walmart is staffed by a licensed mental health professional. Patients can make an appointment online or over the phone, or they can simply walk in.
Once a patient is at the clinic, the mental health professional will do an assessment to see what kind of help is needed. Talk therapy will be offered for patients experiencing problems like depression, anxiety, grief or relationship issues. The clinic will not be giving prescriptions, so if a prescription is needed, the patient will be referred to a psychiatrist.
The reason Beacon Health Options chose this particular Walmart is that there’s a shortage of mental health help in this area, and the location is convenient for many Texans. The hope is that the convenience of this location will help people get help who otherwise wouldn’t.
The President and CEO of Beacon Health Options, Russell Petrella, says, “Having it available in a setting like this provides opportunities for people to reach out and get care in a comfortable place.”
Hear Petrella explain more about his hopes for this clinic in the video below.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, approximately one in every five Americans experiences some kind of mental illness each year. Beacon Health Options hopes to open more clinics in other locations so that they can make mental health care convenient for everyone.
Would you go to a mental health professional inside a Walmart?