By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
A mental health urgent care clinic, the first of its kind in Wyoming, will open sometime this fall in Cheyenne, its company’s president told Cowboy State Daily on Wednesday.
Emily Loos of LIV Health said the clinic will open on the northern side of Cheyenne likely around the end of October, but much work has to be done before she can give an official date.
“We’re going to offer both immediate psychiatric health care and then our goal is to later have aftercare,” Loos said. “We’re going to have a psychiatric nurse practitioner and mental health therapist for the immediate intervention. But we also want to follow up with people either for mental health or case management. We can bridge that gap between now and ongoing care.”
The team at LIV Health in Cheyenne will serve patients five years and older. The mental health needs treated at the clinic will be a wide range, from LGBTQ-related issues to substance use to sleep-related disorders.
The difference between a clinic such as LIV and a “typical” urgent care clinic is that if someone is suffering from a mental health crisis, they can speak with a counselor at LIV that day.
LIV has been in business in Colorado for about eight years, but Loos has had her eye on expanding to Wyoming for a while.
The need for mental health services has been growing over the last several years, but the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated the problem, Loos said.
But after reading an article from a therapist who opened his office to patients without requiring an appointment beforehand, she got the idea to expand mental health urgent care clinics in the Front Range region.
“This has really been a labor of love for the last couple of years with the planning and trying to find the space in Cheyenne,” Loos said. “A big part of our planning is making sure our team has all the tools and education they need to be able to manage any type of crisis that may come through the door.”
Once the clinic opens, Loos intends for it to be open seven days a week, although the business’ hours will be shorter on the weekends.
“We’d really like to be able to open this up for everyone in Wyoming to be able to access us, at least through telehealth,” she said. “Suicide in Wyoming is a big issue and we want to have the biggest impact on our patients. We want our team to really be able to reduce the number of suicides in Wyoming.”
There are not many other mental health urgent care clinics in the nation. An internet search showed similar ones in Des Moines, Iowa, Sacramento, California and Bridgeton, Missouri.