The Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health and its partners opened the Bridge Clinic near New Castle to provide screening and referrals to treatment, as well as additional services.

The Bridge Clinic, which is open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, is available to all Delaware residents. The clinic is located at 14 Central Ave., New Castle, just off U.S. 13.

The clinic’s services, which do not require an appointment, include screening and referrals to treatment for mental health and substance use disorders; access to on-site qualified, licensed clinicians; guidance navigating the care network; and naloxone training.

Transportation to and from the facility may be available, and all services are made available regardless of ability to pay.

“The Bridge Clinic meets a need in our state to provide rapid access to qualified clinicians who can help individuals and their families to understand what treatment may be needed and how to engage with the treatment system,” said Department of Health and Social Services Secretary Kara Odom Walker, a board-certified family physician. “Sometimes, families don’t even know where to begin. The Bridge Clinic provides that starting point.”

Walker said the opening of the clinic 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, 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 increase the capacity of the treatment system; engage high-risk populations in treatment; create incentives for quality care; and use data to guide reform and monitor progress.

“The aim of the Bridge Clinic is to engage diverse communities across our state who are facing the challenges of an addiction or mental health issue,” said DSAMH Director Elizabeth Romero. “We are here — in the community — providing that place where individuals and families can go when they aren’t sure where to turn for help. With our community partners, we are working to educate individuals and families, to bring awareness and to promote resources as part of the solution.”

For more, call the Bridge Clinic at 255-1650.