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Health

Urgent Care For Patients With Mental Health Symptoms To Open In Joplin

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People in the Joplin area who are struggling with their mental health will soon have an immediate place to go for help besides the emergency room.

Ozark Center Urgent Behavioral Solutions, or UBS, opens Thursday, October 1, at 3230 Wisconsin Ave., Suite A, in Joplin.  It’s an urgent care for those with behavioral health issues.

Ozark Center’s chief administrative officer, Vicky Mieseler, said it’s designed to keep those with mental health issues out of the emergency room.  And it gives them a place geared toward them.

“In our new facility, we’ll be able to offer a lot of follow up services and have people keeping in contact with you after your discharge,” she said.

This is the perfect time to open the new facility, according to Mieseler.  She said the Ozark Center has seen an increase in people seeking mental health treatment during the pandemic.

“We’re sure that it is related to the pandemic and the frustration and fear and heightened anxiety that people are feeling right now.”

Staff at the UBS will include psychiatric advanced practice nurses, primary care advanced practice nurses, nursing staff, medical technicians, licensed behavioral healthcare providers and case managers.  Staff will be able to do direct admissions to Freeman Health System.

Patients who visit the center will have both their mental and physical health evaluated.  That will allow staff to look for medical issues that go along with mental health symptoms and give patients a better outcome, according to Mieseler. 

“Those with mental health issues have a life expectancy 10 to 20 years less than the general population due to untreated medical disorders,” said Mieseler.

Hours at the new center will be Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday 1 to 9 p.m.  No appointments are needed.

The facility is funded by a re-occurring $2 million federal grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.