Getting fast access to mental health services just got a lot easier with the opening of a behavioral health access center at McKay-Dee Hospital.

The McKay-Dee Behavioral Health Access Center is open 24/7 and staffed by patient liaisons, registered nurses, behavioral health specialists, psychiatrists, and an emergency room provider. The center has its own outside entrance next to the hospital’s emergency department entrance. It serves patients with severe depression and anxiety, bipolar disorder, postpartum depression, panic attacks, schizophrenia, and suicidal thoughts. 

“Through intervention, we expect most patients will be stabilized and back home in less than 24 hours, depending on the level of care required,” said Ben Holt, MD, McKay-Dee’s Behavioral Health Medical Director. 

More than 400 patients experiencing a mental health crisis come to McKay-Dee seeking care each month, but in the past it’s been difficult to give them fast access to the right care. “Previously, the Emergency Department was the only place in the hospital where patients could come during a behavioral health crisis,” said Dr. Holt. “It’s important to have a safe place for patients to go and receive care immediately. The access center will help facilitate the appropriate treatment by determining the level of care required and helping patients get connected with the best treatment.”

A similar access center opened on the 400 East Campus of Dixie Regional Medical Center in St. George last year, and other Intermountain hospitals plan to add similar access centers soon. For patient safety and confidentiality, patients must be 18 years or older, and no visitors are allowed.

Intermountain collaborates with other community partners across the system to help patients access behavioral health resources.