Since its launch this summer, Axis Bridge Mental Health Urgent Care has worked to help fill a crucial gap for mental health care in the Tri-Valley.
Available since July to residents in the cities of Dublin, Pleasanton and Livermore that are experiencing an urgent mental health crisis, and as an alternative to emergency room treatment, the free program helps patients ages 5 and up receive same-day short-term counseling, psychiatric care, care coordination, and connect to solutions for longer-term care, regardless their lack or type of insurance.
In a statement, Axis Community Health CEO Sue Compton said the "unique program," which is supported with funding from all three cities -- including $321,495 from Pleasanton -- "has been a long-term dream for us."
"We are providing rapid access to mental health care for Tri-Valley residents with the goal of minimizing the escalation of symptoms that can lead to the need for acute care," Compton said.
A direct referral process with Stanford Health Care-ValleyCare's emergency department has been established for patients who would benefit from service at Axis Bridge. Patients can also receive help navigating the mental health care system with Axis Bridge, a task which the organization said can be "daunting."
Dr. Jennifer Penner, chief of behavioral health at Axis, said the program helps "fill the gap between emergency treatment and being on a wait-list for care but unable to wait."
"Patients are presenting with a wide-range of needs and the issues are compelling--a mom called about her daughter refusing treatment for an eating disorder, a patient waiting for psychiatry services through private insurance needed interim counseling, another patient had an initial psychotic break and didn’t know where to turn," Penney said.
Currently, services are only available via telehealth due to COVID-19 restrictions. When conditions permit, in-person services will also be available. Services are available Monday through Thursday from 11 am to 7 pm, and Fridays from 9 am to 5 pm. Residents can schedule an intake appointment with Axis Bridge by calling 568-2080.
For more information about Axis Community Health including non-urgent mental health services and the Axis Bridge program, visit www.axishealth.org.