Timely access to mental health care more important than ever

*Media Release*

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                             CONTACT: Michael J. Yates

DATE: May 13, 2020                                                                                                         PHONE: 865-719-7221

Timely access to mental health care more important than ever

A recent Op-ed from Marie Williams, Commissioner for Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, highlighted the increased anxiety, isolation, fear, despair, and depression experienced by so many as a result of the rapidly changing landscape wrought by the spread of COVID-19. “This new normal does not feel normal,” she wrote.  To support one another in navigating Tennessee’s COVID-19 recovery, she acknowledged no matter where people are in life right now, “It’s OK to not feel OK.”

Business are beginning to re-open and recovery efforts are afoot. Fashionable masks and social distancing are new customary codes of polite behavior, Zoom has become an asset and tool for business operations, and tele-video is now a widely used platform for communities of faith to congregate and share their good news, and yet it is OK to not feel OK. Adaptation is all around us. As the number of people tested for the virus grows, so too do the numbers of those grateful to test negative; and still, we may not feel OK.

While a common public refrain is “We’re in this together,” many people are trying to cope with unmanageable anxiety and fear, with isolation and loneliness, and with unresolved grief over losses hard to fathom. The truth is no matter where people are in life right now, we never fully know what someone is going through or what burdens they carry … and asking for help is also OK.

Now more than ever, people need timely access to mental health care for support to navigate the hard challenges they are facing and the tangled, complex feelings they are experiencing.  So, where can you turn for help?

Ridgeview’s Same Day Access clinic located at the Main Center entrance at 240 W. Tyrone Road in Oak Ridge allows a person to walk-in each weekday from 8:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. without an appointment to receive a mental health assessment and to determine what type of care may best treat their needs and promote their hope, healing, and recovery. The Walk-In Clinic is also open on Wednesday’s from 4:30 – 5:30. Many emotional and behavioral pains can be treated by a therapist or other psychiatric interventions and care. However, some emotional and behavioral pain is so acute and severe, waiting to access the regular walk-in hours may be unbearable, and that is when the Mobile Crisis Team can help. 

Ridgeview’s Crisis Services are designed to help people who are experiencing a mental health crisis and provide them with support in getting the timely access to care they need. The Mobile Crisis Team is available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week serving Anderson, Campbell, Morgan, Roane, and Scott counties and can be contacted at 865-481-6175. Mobile Crisis also has a walk-in clinic that is available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. at Ridgeview’s main location in Oak Ridge at 240 W. Tyrone Road – signs will direct you to the Mobile Crisis entrance in the rear of the building. These expanded hours also allow family members to be involved with an individual’s care outside of typical business hours.

It is OK to not feel OK, especially during times like these. It is also OK to ask for help when in need. Now more than ever, Ridgeview is here and remains committed to providing you timely access to quality mental health services when you need it.



Michael Yates is the Director of Development at Ridgeview Behavioral Health Services and has a combined 25 years of experience in community behavioral health & public child welfare services.

Ridgeview is a private, not for profit community mental health center with locations in Anderson, Campbell, Morgan, Roane, and Scott counties. For more information please call 1-800-834-4178 or visit our website at www.ridgeview.com.

If you have an emergent need please do not hesitate to contact our 24-hour crisis line at 1-800-870-5481. Follow Ridgeview on Facebook.