By Alex Wittenberg – Staff writer, Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal
May 29, 2019, 2:58pm EDT
People in the Twin Cities suffering from a mental health-related condition have a new option for treatment.
Birch Counseling on May 15 opened a walk-in mental health clinic in Hopkins that provides same-day counseling services to patients. The service, the first of its kind in the Twin Cities, according to Birch, hopes to make mental health treatment more accessible.
"Our clinic in Golden Valley has a three-week waitlist, and that's just not good enough," said Christa Surerus, founder and owner of Birch Counseling. "People are calling in with very urgent needs, and they can't wait even a week to be seen. We're trying to close that gap."
The clinic, located at 904 Main St. in Hopkins, has four dedicated counselors on staff. As demand for the service increases, Birch plans to have as many as 40 staff members working extended hours at the clinic, Surerus said.
Surerus expects the clinic to treat people who feel overwhelmed by grief, sadness or worry. One recent patient was a woman who was struggling going about daily life after the death of her partner. Other patients, for example, may feel unsettled over job and housing precarity or a serious health diagnosis they have to share with their family, Surerus said.
"We wanted to make it accessible in the terminology we use," she said. "Very rarely do people wake up at 3 a.m. and say, 'Oh my god, I need to see someone, I have anxiety.' Most of they time they don't know they have anxiety. They just know they're worried."
Birch works with most major insurance plans. The out-of-pocket cost for an appointment with a licensed counselor at the new clinic is $120.