HOPKINTON — Wood River Health Services has expanded its behavioral health services and now offers personalized therapy to the public.
The growth in behavioral health treatment is intended to respond to a growing need in the community, and is part of Wood River’s goal to offer a complete range of health services at a single location,
The team, led by Dr. Chris Campagnari, the medical director, consists of Sheila Capece, behavioral health manager, Danielle Bryant, behavioral health clinician, and Rachel Cowell, behavioral health assistant.
“Behavioral health is part of the medical department,” Campagnari said. “Our medical department consists of internal medicine doctors, family medicine doctors, and family nurse practitioners. Our behavioral health piece of that consists of two licensed independent clinical social workers, and Rachel, she’s a behavioral health assistant. Her certification is licensed clinical social worker.”
Clients requesting services will usually speak first with Cowell, who will determine which practitioner they should see.
“People who have issues with grief, anxiety, panic, parenting issues, depression, substance use, we can help with these issues,” Campagnari said. “In addition to that, our clinicians also have experience working with children with behavioral problems, and adults and children with attention deficit disorder.”
Capece, who has provided behavioral health services to Wood River patients for the past three years, said the expanded practice now makes it possible to offer services to the general public.
“At this point, we’re opening up to the public, so non-Wood River patients,” she said. “For the past three years, we’ve been seeing primarily Wood River patients.”
Wood River spokesman David Henley said the new service had been accepting patients for several weeks.
“We had kind of a soft opening, just by word of mouth for about a month, just to make sure that all of our systems are working properly. So we’re ready, and if the need is there, we’ll hire some more people,” he said.
The behavioral health team does not prescribe or manage medications, so people who need medications are referred elsewhere.
“Some of the people calling in from the outside, lots of times they are looking for someone who also provides medication,” Capece said.
“The clinical social workers are here for therapy, counseling, not for medication management,” Campagnari added.
For some people, the stress levels of everyday life are greater than they used to be, and sometimes people need therapy to help them cope.
“I think anxiety is number one,” Capece said. “Anxiety, depression and PTSD [post-traumatic stress disorder]. We’re seeing a lot of children, a lot of young people, kids with ADHD mixed with some anxiety. We live in a stressful world.”
Most of Wood River’s clients are from Hopkinton and Westerly, but some drive from Pawcatuck, Stonington and even Providence.
“We’re not a community mental health center, so this is more outpatient behavioral health treatment,” Capece said.
Members of the new team hope to get the word out about their services.
“I think that people need to know, almost like a special invitation,” Capece said.
“We have a nondiscrimination policy,” Campagnari added. “We treat everybody the same way, with kindness and respect.”
Wood River accepts most insurance, and also offers sliding-scale payment options.
“If you can’t pay for it, we’ll find a way to help you,” Henley said.
The behavioral services team can be reached at 401 539-2461, ext. 179.