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Children’s mental health clinic opening
January 3, 2014

By Melissa Fletcher Stoeltje, San Antonio Express-News

A clinic offering mental health care for children will open Thursday, bringing needed services to an underserved area, officials said.

Clarity Child Guidance Center's new clinic on the West Side seeks to improve access to mental health services for children up to age 17.The location of the new facility, at Westover Medical Park at 10431 Highway 151, is "strategic," said Fred Hines, president and CEO of Clarity.

"This clinic is an important step in making children's mental health services more easily accessible to families and children in an area that is under-served and has a high percentage of uninsured and underinsured patients," Hines said.

Nationwide, one in five children struggles with mental illness, but many go undiagnosed, studies show.

The new clinic is the first facility outside of the medical center area for Clarity, a nonprofit that specializes in providing treatment to children with serious mental and emotional problems.

It operates the region's largest treatment center dedicated to children with mental illness, according to a press release.

The goal of the clinic is to provide quick access to a mental health professional for children and adolescents in distress, or to evaluate and direct them to the services they need, within days instead of months, Hines said.

A full staff of licensed therapists, a psychiatrist, nurses and admissions personnel will operate the 5,000-square-foot clinic, which will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

At the clinic, a licensed counselor will review each patient and direct them to the right services.

Clarity Child Guidance Center aims to provide families greater access to children's mental health care, regardless of their ability to pay, Hines said.

The clinic accepts Medicaid and most private insurance plans, but also provides financial help through sliding-scale fees for families that otherwise couldn't afford services, he added.

The first of several clinics that Clarity plans to open in San Antonio within the next three to five years, the new site receives funding from the Baptist Health Foundation of San Antonio, H-E-B Tournament of Champions and the Hogg Foundation.

Last year, Clarity provided services to almost 8,000 children ages 3 to 17 in Bexar County, through its two facilities at the Medical Center.

 

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