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Wells opens crisis clinic

Aims to address despair amid tough economy

October 14, 2009
SOUTHBRIDGE — Emotions and economics aren't just close to each other in the dictionary, they influence each other in daily life.

That seems especially true now, more than a year after the Wall Street meltdown. While things might be showing signs of turnaround on Wall Street, many people see them to be still sliding on Main Street. Job losses, home foreclosures, inability to pay bills and other stresses are causing some people to get desperate.

Fortunately, Southbridge has a new way to help some of them.

This summer, the G.B. Wells Center on Pine Street opened a walk-in clinic where people in distress can come in, stay a while and be guaranteed a chance to see someone for help before they leave.

According to Harrington Hospital's Sue Butler, a social worker and director of psychiatric emergency services, the clinic aims to address "the biggest complaint of people who are desperate" — the fact they don't want to wait in (and usually don't need) the Emergency Room and can't wait the average of six to eight weeks to see a private counselor.

"By that time, your crisis is over or you've already done something desperate," she observed, referring to people injuring or trying to kill themselves.

See Friday's Southbridge Evening News for complete coverage of community news.

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