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Essex County Mental Health Department has no waiting list

The Essex County Board of Supervisors.

The Essex County Board of Supervisors. Photo by Keith Lobdell.

— Over the past nine months, the Essex County Mental Health Department has been able to meet with everyone who has needed their services.

“We have not had a waiting list since Oct. 17, 2011,” Director Steve Valley said during the July 9 Essex County Human Services Committee meeting. “In that time, we have had about 10 people a week coming in for services (358 in total). They are assigned to a therapist within three working days from when they walk into a clinic. We are really happy that we have been able to do that and sustain that over the past nine months.”

According to Valley, the department currently has two times blocked out each week where people can come to the offices without an appointment, on Wednesdays from noon until 4 p.m. and Fridays from 8 a.m. until noon.

He said that it was part of the department’s goal to move to an “open access model.”

“Five days a week, whenever the clinic is open people can come in and meet with a therapist and get their paperwork filled out and make things easier for them,” Valley said.

Horace Nye renovations

Deborah Gifford, Director of the Horace Nye Nursing Home in Elizabethtown, reported that work on the new sprinkler system at the home had begun the day of the meeting.

“We have been in discussions with the contractor working out the schedule and putting together times for this,” Gifford said. “They already have the piping here and will start their work (July 9).”

Gifford also said that she has been working with a firm to collect on old debts that are owed to the facility.

“We are in the initial phases of working on past debt collection and we have received resolution on some of the accounts already,” she said.

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