COLUMBUS, Ohio — Starting Friday, there will be one less provider in greater Columbus where those having a mental health or substance abuse crisis can go for help.
Netcare is closing its 24-hour crisis center. Staffing challenges prompted the closure, according to Netcare’s CEO and medical director, Dr. Brian Stroh.
For 27 years, the facility in west Columbus has treated people regardless of their ability to pay. But the added demand of the pandemic and a workforce that’s becoming burned out with dealing with the increase led to the decision to have to close the doors to the crisis center.
Netcare began reducing hours to its crisis center in August and again in September.
“Our biggest problem – far and away – turned into staffing. We have very dedicated staff but it became very clear that folks were just tired. Folks are worn out, folks are just done. And that’s understandable the past two and half years have been really hard in the pandemic,” Dr. Stroh said in a recent interview. “But add to that – prior to the pandemic we had really struggled with workforce. Folks doing really tough work with really challenging patients and folks are just worn out.”
Stroh said that Netcare will still provide other programs and that others in crisis will likely by steered to other providers, including hospitals’ emergency departments or services that can accessed either over the phone or online.
When asked if there was a potential for people to be pinched out of accessing care, Stroh said: “I think there is potential for that. I also know that we are working towards ameliorating some of that. Franklin County is bringing on a new crisis center, but I think the question is how do we get through the next few years.”
For more information, you can go here.