AltaPointe's Access to Care experiences increase in calls

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More than 1,000 people called AltaPointe's Access to Care line in an 8-hour span following Hurricane Sally. The category two storm made landfall in Baldwin County, AL, on Sept. 16. AltaPointe provides mental health, intellectual disabilities, and primary care services to people living in seven counties in Alabama including Baldwin and Mobile counties. Both counties were impacted by the storm.

AltaPointe's Access to Care answered more than 1,000 calls on Monday following Hurricane Sally. Kim Traywick is one of the healthcare heroes answering the calls.

The Monday following the storm, volume was so high due to folks trying to get in touch with our nurses, therapists, and physicians.

Long before Hurricane Sally made landfall as a category two storm on Sept. 16, AltaPointe Health experienced a surge in calls for help from the COVID-19 pandemic. Coupled with a natural disaster, the behavioral healthcare leader says the surge continues.

Jennifer Gregory, assistant director of AltaPointe's Access to Care, says established patients began reaching out immediately after the storm passed.

"There was a significant increase with established patients seeking refills and follow-up appointments with their providers," Gregory says. "The Monday following the storm, volume was so high due to folks trying to get in touch with our nurses, therapists, and physicians."

AltaPointe's Access to Care answered more than 1,000 calls on Monday, Sept. 21, following Hurricane Sally. On a typical day, access to care specialists' answer around 700 calls.

Gregory says the surge in calls is from people seeking help for anxiety, depression, and suicide ideation or thinking about or planning suicide.

September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month—a time to share resources and stories to shed light on this highly taboo and stigmatized topic.

AltaPointe provides more than 1 million services to more than 35,000 individuals each year in our residential, outpatient, hospital, and primary care settings.

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April Douglas
@AltaPointeHS
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