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An Assessment of After-Hours Visits to a Community Mental Health Center
Marvin H. Lipkowitz; Ghulam Qadir
Psychiatric Services 1979; doi:
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Maimonides Medical Center Brooklyn, New York

Veterans Administration Medical Center Allen Park, Michigan

American Psychiatric Association

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Abstract

Walk-in clinics, originally established in community mental health centers to provide primary and secondary prevention through around-the-clock emergency services, may be serving many people other than those in crisis. The authors conducted an 11-week study of utilization patterns at one center's after-hours walk-in clinic and found that most of the patients were already enrolled in psychotherapy sessions at the center. Some might have been acting out resistance in therapy, the authors theorize. Few patients seen for the first time at the clinic later enrolled in psychotherapy, and few inpatient admissions were made. Although the authors assert that walk-in clinics provide a valuable service, they question whether their original purpose has been distorted and whether the services they provide are always therapeutic.

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