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Meridian Wants You to Know: It’s Business as Usual

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North Central Florida’s Most Advanced Comprehensive Provider of Treatment for Mental Illnesses and Substance Use Disorders is Ready to Serve You

Fact: Meridian has seen a 10X increase in use of virtual services during COVID-19 crisis

Gainesville, Fla. – North Central Florida’s largest comprehensive provider of treatment for mental health and substance use disorders, Meridian, has been expertly utilizing Telehealth since 2015, thanks in great part to Meridian’s more advanced approach to the treatment of substance use disorders, mental illnesses, and mental health in general.  While our acute care and residential programs remain at or near capacity, the organization has seen a 10-fold increase* in the number of clients opting to stay home and meet with their healthcare provider virtually – reaching over 300 telehealth appointments per day.  More importantly, Meridian has the capacity to double that stat, no matter the need – assessment, counseling, medication, and even crisis response.

*See graphic below

As the nation continues to collectively pull together to stave off a protracted physical health crisis through social distancing, business closures, and stay at home orders; many individuals are experiencing mental health crises as a result.  While the Federal Government is moving quickly to revamp laws governing the use of telecommunications in meeting the growing need for mental healthcare services, one of Florida’s most progressive mental health providers, Meridian, wants you to know: “It’s business as unusual at Meridian.”

Statistics recently released by Mental Health America, the nation’s leading entity focused on mental health, show a 19% increase in the number of people exhibiting anxiety during the beginning of February, weeks before quarantine measures were even put in effect anywhere in the country.  More up-to-date figures have yet to be released; however, with many Americans entering their fourth, fifth, or sixth week staying home, few could or would argue against the importance of mental health.

The increased demand for mental healthcare has put a strain on providers, many of which are directing new and existing clients toward remote platforms, both telephonic and online.  This is forcing the Federal Government to reassess its policies on the use of Telehealth.  The American Psychological Association is calling for the temporary suspension of licensing laws, saying, “It is critically important psychologists are able to meet the needs of their patients and communities during this difficult time, without increasing the risk of contagion.”

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Meridian has seen a 10X increase in use of virtual services during COVID-19 crisis

For More information Contact Joy Riddle, Senior Vice President of Marketing, Communication, and Advancement at joy_riddle@mbhci.org or by voice or text at 352-262-2103

Meridian Behavioral Healthcare, Inc. is a comprehensive community behavioral healthcare organization located in North Central Florida. With services available throughout the region, Meridian maintains offices in these eleven counties: Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Columbia, Dixie, Gilchrist, Hamilton, Lafayette, Levy, Suwannee, and Union. Meridian is CARF accredited and licensed by the Florida Department of Children and Families and the Agency For Healthcare Administration. Its mission is to promote the health, recovery, and well-being of those affected by mental illness and substance use disorders through prevention, coordinated treatment, and supportive services and is based on the vision that hope, recovery, and wellness are within everyone’s reach. For more information, visit https://mbhci.org/

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