Walmart offers a wide variety of services to its customers, such as eye-care, car-service, filling a prescription and now mental health services can be added to the list.
The retail store in Carrollton, Texas recently opened an outpatient mental health clinic making it the first type of treatment center to open in a Walmart. Those seeking treatment can either walk in or make an appointment in advance. Licensed therapists are on hand to help with problems such as depression, relationship issues, anxiety, grief, or the overwhelming stress of living life.
"The market provides, even when nobody expects it to. That’s the lesson we’ve learned from Walmart, whose Texas mental health clinic is helping customers in need."— American Institute for Economic Research (AIER) (@aier) December 3, 2018
Analysis by @ChloeAnagnos, referencing @Walmart. #Economics #Healthcare https://t.co/u6C3ZSM3fH
According to Today, Beacon Health Options has leased the space in hopes of bringing affordable care to those who need it most. The Boston based company is in charge of running the clinic, Walmart is not involved in the day to day operations. Therefore, patients can feel secure in knowing the treatment they are receiving is from a legit company that specialized in mental health.
It was announced last week that the clinic would be opening, offering the almost 10 million residents in the area another option for treatment. In a statement released by Beacon Health, the area is lacking in mental health care workers compared to the number of people living there.
President and CEO of Beacon Health Options, Russell Petrella, told Today it was time for behavioral health services to be pulled out of the shadow. He went on to explain having the services available in a comfortable environment will help encourage those that need help to seek it out.
Mental health therapy at Walmart? It’s now a thing - The Boston Globe https://t.co/UHq0zgtsJY— Ruth Ann Crystal, MD (@CatchTheBaby) December 3, 2018
“People don’t know how to find a behavioral health or mental health professional.
"We’re trying to mainstream behavioral health services."@iron_light pic.twitter.com/nHUho8mx52
The initial assessment is $140, and each treatment after that is $110, which can be daunting to people. Since the primary purpose of the mental health clinic in Walmart is to make it accessible and affordable, there is a sliding scale for people who do not have health insurance or can't afford the fees.
Although Beacon Health employees will help assess and lay out a treatment plan for each patient, they are not allowed to write prescriptions. Also, the Walmart clinic is not designed for those suffering from severe mental illness. It is strictly to provide help for those who can function well but need some help with more common life issues. Talk therapy is offered on-site or via skype if a patient can't make it in.
There is no word from Walmart regarding whether or not the company hopes to add a clinic to other stores around the country. What do you think of the retail chain having mental health clinics?