UT Health San Antonio’s behavioral health services move to new site

The new UT Health San Antonio Behavioral Health and Wellness Center.

The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio’s behavioral health services have moved to a new location convenient for patients.

The UT Health San Antonio Behavioral Health and Wellness Center, located at 5788 Eckhert Rd., is home to all child, adolescent and adult psychiatrythe Transitional Care Clinic (TCC) and the New Opportunities for Wellness (NOW) clinic.

General psychiatry consists of child, adult, geriatric and interventional psychiatry services. TCC is a comprehensive transitional clinic for individuals who recently received psychiatric care at local hospitals or emergency departments. NOW is a rapid-access clinic with psychiatry services, one-on-one and group sessions, peer support and case management.

“The idea was to have all the services in one place so we can work together as faculty and clinicians so that the individuals could get the behavioral health needs for them and their family members met all in one place without fragmentation or big gaps in care,” said Megan Fredrick, MA, LPC-S, director of the NOW clinic.

Fredrick said the move was spurred by the demand for more behavioral health services and increased staff, requiring more space, and the desire for collaboration across the department.

“We talk more about mental health and behavioral wellness now. The pandemic was the tip of the iceberg,” she said. “We’ve had the great fortune of bringing on additional faculty members this summer on the counseling, psychology and psychiatry sides, so we are in a great place to serve the community.”

Fredrick said she is proud of the new facility, which has great physical access, including a curbside bus stop, and offers convenient surface-level parking leading directly into the clinic.

“It’s a beautiful state-of-the-art facility that people will hopefully want to be at,” she said. “It feels like a different behavioral health experience, and we look forward to being a pillar for behavioral health services for our community.”

The Texas Department of State Health Services reports that all but three counties in the state are experiencing a shortage of mental health professionals. An additional three counties have partial shortages. The agency gives each county a Health Professional Shortage Area score of 1 to 25, where 25 indicates that the county is not experiencing any shortages; Bexar County has a score of 18.

Fredrick said while in general, psychiatry may have historically experienced longer wait times, the NOW — and the new NOW for Adolescents — clinics do find availability for patients within the week.

“We will channel referrals and funnel them in one direction or another so that our staff can triage the patient and get them in a program that makes the most sense.”

The conditions of adult and adolescent patients using the university’s services range from depression to isolation, said Fredrick. Adult stressors may include the economy, family situations, grief and loss, as well as serious mental health conditions. Adolescents face similar stressors with the added burden of fitting into their social groups and the impact of social media or school pressures.

“The pressure of society is harsher on kids than it used to be,” she said.

Despite the challenge of finding qualified behavioral health professionals, Fredrick said she’s feeling hopeful for the future.

“Psychiatry has been under-resourced from a financial and a provider standpoint, but that is slowly changing, which is encouraging.”

As the center grows, additional services are being provided, such as rapid access for faculty of the Joe R. and Teresa Long School of Medicine.

To learn more about the UT Health San Antonio Behavioral Health and Wellness Center, go here or call 210-450-6450.





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