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Dr. Kara Odom Walker, Secretary
Jill Fredel, Director of Communications
302-255-9047, Cell 302-357-7498
DPH Media Contact:
302-744-4907, Cell 302-612-6223
Date: October 24, 2019
DOVER (Oct. 24, 2019) - As a new support for individuals and families in Kent County impacted by the effects of mental health and substance use issues, the Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health (DSAMH) has opened the Kent County Bridge in the James W. Williams State Service Center in Dover. The Kent County clinic joins similar clinics in New Castle and Sussex counties.
The Kent County Bridge Clinic, which is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, is available to all Delaware residents. Located on the third floor of the Williams State Service Center, 805 River Road, Dover, the Kent County clinic is also piloting the use of nurse practitioners to help explore the integration of physical and behavioral health care. The services available at all three clinics, which do not require an appointment or health insurance, include:
"In opening this Kent County Bridge Clinic, we are providing rapid access to qualified clinicians now in all three counties," said Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) Secretary Dr. Kara Odom Walker, a practicing family physician. "Our clinic staff can help individuals and their families understand what type of treatment is needed for loved ones and how to engage with the treatment system. For Delaware families who might be overwhelmed simply trying to figure out where to begin, the Bridge Clinics provide that in-person starting point."
Secretary Walker said having Bridge Clinics in all three counties helps to engage high-risk populations in treatment, one of four main recommendations from a team of researchers and clinicians at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. In April 2017, Secretary Walker asked Johns Hopkins to conduct a review of Delaware's addiction treatment system. In July 2018, the Johns Hopkins team issued a 33-page report that proposed four main strategies:
"The opening of the Bridge Clinic in Kent County is a milestone achievement for behavioral health care in Delaware and an additional step forward in transforming our treatment system under the START Initiative," said DSAMH Director Elizabeth Romero. "Bringing three brand-new clinics online in under nine months is a testament to the hard work of our staff and I cannot thank them enough for their efforts. These Bridge Clinics fill a crucial need in our system and will continue to be an essential part of the services that we provide for years to come."
For more information, call the Kent County Bridge Clinic at 302-857-5060, or visit HelpIsHereDE.com. Details on the other two clinics:
Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.