CVS will offer mental health counseling in stores to expand access

Health

(NewsNation Now) — The pandemic has taken a heavy toll on the mental health of millions between closed schools, lost jobs, and forced isolation from family and friends.

A study by the Kaiser Family Foundation found 56% of adults between 18 and 24 years old have reported symptoms of anxiety and/or depression.

Now, a national pharmacy chain is working to fill gaps in mental health by bringing counseling services into its stores.

CVS began offering the service in January of this year with the idea of placing care where therapist access might be difficult. Currently, the program is in a dozen stores ranging in location from Houston to Tampa, Fla.

“So the hope is that a program like this might be able to mainstream into its fold of medical care; routine vaccinations, routine prescriptions, you know every day life. When you go to pick up milk or a prescription you might say ‘hey, maybe I could see and talk to somebody’,” said New York University Assistant Professor of Psychiatry Dr. Sue Varma.

She added that programs like this will help decrease the stigma around mental health treatment as well.

Watch the full interview in the player above

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