A first look inside behavioral health urgent care

Published: Apr. 19, 2023 at 5:27 PM EDT
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - A $5 million transformation of a Watertown property will bring mental and addiction help to the area 24/7.

No longer an abandoned grocery store, Citizen Advocates Behavioral Health Urgent Care is set to open, focusing on mental health and addiction services with no referrals or appointments needed.

“It’s kind of amazing to think about the transformation over the last 9 months. What once was a blighted property is now a beautiful facility and we are so excited to welcome folks in,” said Heather Wenzel, associate vice president of operations.

There’s space for adults and children, and if a child needs to stay more than a day, there’s room for that too.

“So we can connect them to the right services and make sure they have the right supports in the community when they leave to be safe and successful,” said Wenzel.

Wenzel says this location is its largest urgent care to date and its close proximity to housing opportunities and the downtown district makes it accessible for many city residents.

Jefferson County Director of Community Services Tim Ruetten says adding 24/7 care is key.

“We know that people don’t always need help only during business hours and it is those after-hours emergencies and crises that we really have had a struggle to address,” he said.

Wenzel also says since they rolled out this model in 2017, their facilities have helped to reduce what they call “unnecessary emergency room visits” in those communities.

A ribbon cutting ceremony is set for Friday morning at 10 o’clock.