In 2014, 180 people volunteered with Walk-In Counseling Center as receptionists, counselors, team consultants, interpreters and administrative assistants. Counselors provided 1,824 individuals, couples and families with 4,705 free counseling sessions across our four sites! In addition, counselors provided hundreds more with ongoing supportive intervention, group counseling, and information and referral services at one of our St. Paul partner sites, First Lutheran Church – Love Grows Here Wellness Center.
In total, Walk-In’s 2014 volunteers provided 14,579 hours of service – counseling clients, staffing walk-in clinics, and case consultation – valued at an estimated $886,945!
Of the clients who responded to our winter 2014 survey, 75% said they felt more able to cope, and 95% felt more hopeful as a result of coming to Walk-In. And the highest compliment and vote of confidence we could ask for: 98% said they would would refer a family member or friend.
Some comments from respondents to the survey:
“You do wonderful work here. Thank you!”
“Thank you for being here, for myself and others.”
“Thank you for my voice.”
“I was in crisis and the walk-in clinic services were available immediately and were very helpful.”
“Thank you for being the place that has helped me through a troubling time.”
We expect the following outputs and outcomes (across all sites, reflecting annual goals) in 2015:
1. Recruit, train, and place 175 volunteers on walk-in clinic teams.
2. Provide 2,300 individuals with free crisis counseling and brief treatment.
3. Provide 6,450 free counseling services across all sites.
4. 97% of clients will report feeling more hopeful.
5. 90% of clients will report feeling more capable of coping with presenting problems
6. 98% of clients will report a desire to refer loved ones in need.
7. 98% of clients will report satisfaction with services.
Community or Constituency Served
While we serve anyone who walks through our door, the accessibility of our services – free, no-appointment needed, anonymous – is especially helpful for people who:
• Have very low incomes. Premiums, deductibles, and copays (even as low as $5/session) are still unaffordable for many people, and medical care frequently takes precedence over mental health care.
• Cannot wait for an appointment. Even for those who can afford a sliding scale fee service, organizations that offer this option often have long waiting lists and are becoming fewer in number. The mental health provider system was simply not ready for a significant increase in demand due to increased coverage following the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Many people cannot wait weeks or months for an appointment: they are in crisis or finally have the courage to seek help, and they need help now.
• Do not need or want a diagnosis. The “counseling” needed (grief, relationship or job stress, etc.) may not qualify for a DSM-V diagnosis, required for insurance.
• Have additional barriers. To actually get to an appointment childcare, transportation, paid time off from work, and feeling “good enough to go” the day of an appointment all have to align. People who have none of these supports frequently no-show and are consequently dropped by traditional service providers.
• Want to remain anonymous. Mental illness still carries a stigma. For safety, employment or other reasons, many clients don’t want mental health services on their medical records and need complete anonymity. This is not something you can find in a traditional clinic and/or using insurance.
Walk-In Counseling Center serves a diverse clientele. In 2014, 35% of our clients were people of color, nearly half (48%) reported annual household incomes under $20,000, and 50% were female. The majority of people we served were between the ages of 22 and 39 (59%), followed by those aged 40 -59 (24%), under age 21 (11%), and seniors (6%). The majority of our clients did not have insurance.
Geographic Area Served
We provide services to anyone who can come to our clinics regardless of residency. Nearly 80% of our clients access services at our Minneapolis site. The remaining 20% of clients access services through our three St. Paul partner sites: Family Tree Clinic, First Lutheran Church - Love Grows Here Wellness Center, and Neighborhood House. In 2014, 75% of our clients resided in Hennepin County, 16% in Ramsey County, 4% in Dakota County, 2% in Anoka County, 1% in Washington County, 1% in Carver County, and the remaining <1% resided outside of the seven-county metro area or were from out-of-state.