Genesee County, MI—Genesee Health System (GHS) has opened a new clinic to provide mental health care for uninsured residents in Genesee County.

The clinic, located in 1513 S. Center Road in Burton., opened on May 1, 2023, offering outpatient services in therapy. 

Jennifer McCarty, chief operating officer at GHS, said the clinic is part of GHS’s broader efforts to make early treatment of mental health more accessible. 

Funding from the Genesee County Community Mental Health millage and grant funding from Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration enables the clinic to serve individuals who are uninsured with mild to moderate needs, she explained. 

“[The clinic] allows for them to receive preventative care before things are so serious that they have to go to the emergency room,” McCarty said. “It’s also part of a community systems perspective to say we have a place for you to receive some preventative care, and our hope is that that will also relieve hospitals from behavioral health emergencies in the long-run.” 

Individuals with mild to moderate needs, for instance, could be feeling depressed, anxious, grief, stressed or overwhelmed, though their symptoms may not be severe enough to warrant in-patient services or overnight care.

Previously, McCarty said GHS had typically served those with the most intensive needs who require specialty care, such as people diagnosed with major depressive disorder, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, among other disorders, to the extent that their daily function becomes impaired. 

According to McCarty, GHS picked the Burton location as data suggests the area has a high number of uninsured people without easy access to mental health care.

The clinic’s opening, she added, also comes at a time when the state of Michigan has resumed checking enrollee’s eligibility for Medicaid, and some beneficiaries could lose their Medicaid coverage as a result. 

“This is our way to prepare and plan for that unknown need just to be available,” McCarty said of the clinic. 

Ultimately, she said GHS hopes to make early treatment for mental health readily available to people beyond those who are uninsured at the new clinic.

“We would like to serve anybody in Genesee County. That’s our end goal,” McCarty said. “What you’re seeing is we’re taking baby steps.” 

Nicholas Chan

Nicholas is Flint Beat’s public health and education reporter. He joins the team as he graduates from Santa Clara University, Calif. Nicholas has previously reported on dementia and brain health, as...

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