St. Mary's receiving more walk-ins after Mind Springs crisis center closes

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO/KJCT News)-- With Mind Springs closing its doors, St. Mary’s is getting an influx of patients.

The walk-in crisis center at Mind Springs closed their doors at the end of August, and those who are in need are searching for other services.

“Other patients have experienced trying to call the state hotline for mobile, and haven’t always got a timely response,” says Psychiatric Liaison with St. Mary’s, Marrie Hibbard.

St. Mary’s says some patients have been unaware of the closure: “We’ve seen some that are actual Mind Springs patients or members or their clinics. We’ve seen other patients that would have been brought to crisis,” says Hibbard.

They’re seeing a variety of patients; some having mental health or substance abuse emergencies.

“I think the patients I’ve seen are frustrated. Especially if they went to the campus and the doors were closed and they were unable to see someone because it was 7 o’clock at night,” says Hibbard.

They say finding proper care for patients can be tricky: “They may end up on the Mind Springs campus and have to call 911. Or hopefully they call the state crisis line, but some don’t do that, they call 911. They end up back here only for us to refer them back over to impatient care at West Springs,” says Hibbard.

St. Mary’s is able to do medical screening, mental health evaluation and referrals.

“Impatient care, outpatient care, substance abuse treatment: we don’t have those actual services at St. Mary’s, so it’s all referral based,” says Hibbard.

It can make for a rather pricey visit to the hospital. Some in the community just want to see more support for those who need it.

“It’s very disappointing because mental health is something that’s really important in our community. Closing places is not really going to be the answer. We definitely need to find some funding, if that’s the problem, to open up some more,”says resident, Stephanie Matlock.

As of now St. Mary’s has no plans to open a walk-in crisis center of their own, but will continue to provide care to those who need it.
KJCT 8 News did make an outreach to Mind Springs and Rocky Mountain Health Plans for comment; neither of them have replied yet.

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