‘The need is so great’: Mecklenburg County opens up first Behavioral Health Urgent Care

The BHUC will be open 24/7/365.
Meck. County, in partnership with CMPD, the sheriff's office, and the Steve Smith Family Foundation, opened up Charlotte's first BHUC center.
Published: Mar. 3, 2023 at 10:57 PM EST
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - For the first time, Mecklenburg County will now have a place where people in mental health crisis can to get help whenever they need it.

The county, in partnership with CMPD, Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office, and the Steve Smith Family Foundation, cut the ribbon for the first Behavioral Health Urgent Care Friday morning. The facility will officially open later this month on March 20.

Mayor Vi Lyles said this resource is especially helpful for police officers responding to instances of people suffering mental health crises.

“Now police officers will have their own ability to have those counselors as well,” Lyles said. “They can bring folks over here 24/7, that is already a testament to the commitment of Mecklenburg County, the City of Charlotte, and the Steve Smith Foundation have made.”

Related: Steve Smith, Mecklenburg leaders announce county’s first-ever behavioral health urgent care center

Dr. Charryse Johnson, a local therapist and mental health professional with Jade Integrative Counseling and Wellness, said having a facility like this in Charlotte will greatly help her and other therapists better serve their patients.

“I feel like it’s going to help alleviate a burden that we feel as therapists because we can only see so many people,” Johnson said. “One of the most helpful pieces is that it’s going to be available 24 hours, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Which other than in an emergency room is very rare.”

The center will offer various resources and services to those in need, such as outpatient care, medical referrals and various counseling resources. The BHUC will also work in tandem with other mental healthcare providers based on the needs of the specific patients.

Before today, the only BHUC centers in the state of North Carolina were found in the Raleigh area. Johnson hopes this won’t be the last one built in the Queen City.

“It’s something that I wish we had many more of, because the need is so great,” Johnson said.

Related: ‘People need help’; Steve Smith’s purpose for opening Mecklenburg’s first behavioral health urgent care