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Mental healthcare provider aims to bring more access treatment options to Virginia

Published: Nov. 19, 2021 at 11:40 PM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - As the world nears its third year of living amidst a pandemic, the conversations surrounding mental health become even more critical.

According to the “State of Mental Health Report,” in 2020, Virginia ranked among the highest needs for mental health services and the lowest in terms of access to those resources.

The report showed 53% of all youth in Virginia who experienced major depressive episodes did not receive treatment. Virginia also ranked just 39th among all states in overall access to care for youth and adults and 47th in adults with a mental illness, who say they could not receive the treatment they needed.

“The pandemic has shown us an uptick in individuals reaching out and needing access to care,” said clinical social worker Dr. Nicole Erkfitz.

Erkfitz specializes in connecting people with mental health resources and has seen the pandemic’s toll on the Commonwealth.

“One of the missions that we want to really make sure we are providing is accessible in terms of teaching people about mental health and mental health services, and making people more aware of substance use disorder and mental health together,” said Erkfitz.

Erkfitz is the new Virginia Executive Director of AMFM Healthcare, expanding its reach from the West Coast to Virginia to help give people more mental health treatment options.

AMFM Healthcare specializes in providing multi-faceted treatment to diagnosing and managing mental health conditions, such as depression, anxiety, personality disorders, and substance abuse. This month AMFM Healthcare services announced the launch of their Virginia residential mental health facility.

“We have an eight-bed residential facility here, and we are looking forward to expanding and serving Northern Virginia, including an expansion of outpatient that will provide virtual services to those who need that access to care,” said Erkfitz. “It’s important to feel like you get a choice in your mental health care, and it’s important to feel like you are connected to the mission and that it’s a right fit for you.”

For more information about AMFM Healthcare, click HERE. A list of additional mental health resources across the state of Virginia can also be found HERE.

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