Meridian Behavioral Health counselors moving more toward telehealth sessions

By Landon Harrar |  Posted: Sun 6:40 PM, Apr 26, 2020  |  Updated: Sun 9:43 PM, Apr 26, 2020

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) — Finding ways to keep your mental health in a good state can be difficult for many people, especially during the pandemic.
We’ll show you how Meridian Behavioral Healthcare counselors are making it easier for anyone who needs the help to get it and get it fast

Meridian Behavioral Healthcare locations are still open and operating during their regular times but there has been one major change as fewer people want to meet face to face.
CEO of Meridian Behavioral Health Don Savoie said, “one of the things we’ve had to do is switch to telehealth for all of our services and oddly enough it’s been an easy shift. So we went from 30-40 telehealth visits a day to well over 400 now every day.”

Many counselors and therapists pulled from schools and other face to face locations have moved to telehealth appointments so if you need help it won’t take long. Savoie explained, “We actually have more capacity now with telehealth than we did in a face to face setting. Where it used to take 1-2 weeks to get someone in for their first visit or counseling session we can now get them seen the same day or next day.”

Savoie says for anyone on the fence of whether they could use help or not just make the call, it’s free and it could be just what you need to get out of your quarantine funk. “Don’t wait until things become too difficult. Both on the substance use disorder side and the mental health side you don’t have to wait until you’re in a crisis to reach out for need that’s why we’re here.”

And the best way to battle the stay at home blues according to Savoie? Try and schedule some normalcy and activity into your day instead of just sitting on the couch watching tv. “Better off getting out working in the yard or going for a walk. I know since the parks are closed it can be more difficult especially in the urban areas, but you gotta make time for yourself and time to think. Books are a great alternative to take you away from everything you’re dealing with right now.”

Although Meridian locations are full right now Savoie says whoever shows up will get a full screening and assessment and a bed will be found for them at local sister organizations if its needed.

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