Kaweah expands mental health care for community

Kaweah Health opens Center for Mental Wellness in Visalia, five professionals provide services to the community Monday – Saturday 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.

VISALIA – Despite financial troubles causing building closures and company layoffs, Kaweah Health was able to open a much needed mental health facility for the community.

On March 8, Kaweah Health opened their Center for Mental Wellness in Visalia. This extension of care is part of its continued commitment to meet the demands for mental health services in the Central Valley. The center will provide outpatient therapy and counseling for people of all ages.  The 1,200-square-foot center will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and is located at 301 W. Noble Ave., Visalia. The need for mental health care in the county has been around for some time, and only grew for many throughout the pandemic.

“Due to the limited number of mental health providers, we know how difficult it can be to get in to see a therapist. We’re here to help,” Theresa Croushore, Kaweah Health’s Director of Behavioral Health Service line said.

The Center for Mental Wellness is just one of the many projects Kaweah Health is working on to meet demands for mental health services in the Central Valley. A total of five professionals will be working as a team to help serve the community. They will offer patients services in individual therapy, family therapy, child and adolescent therapy, couples counseling, specialized therapy groups, EMDR therapy, trauma focused cognitive behavioral therapy and play therapy.

The clinic accepts most private insurance, Medicare and self-pay; appointments can be made by calling 559-624-6875. Additional access to mental health services, including Medi-Cal patients, is available through our network of rural health clinics.

Gabriela Martinez, a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist, serves as Lead Psychotherapist of the four-therapist team. Martinez graduated with a master’s degree in counseling from California State University, Fresno in 2003 and has been working in the field of mental health for the past 20 years. Martinez will be joined by the following psychotherapists: Maria Mendoza, a licensed marriage and family therapist; Analis Lopez Gonzales, an associate clinical social worker; and Vanessa Gutierrez and Julie Andress, who are both associate marriage and family therapists. Together the group provides services for those as a result of major life stresses, trauma, etc.

This is all part of Kaweah’s plan to continue to expand their mental health services. According to a press release from Kaweah Health, last year, they were awarded an $8.7 million grant to fund the construction of Tulare County’s first mental health hospital for youth. The grant will fully fund construction of a 22-bed wing to Kaweah Health’s Mental Health Hospital.

Also last year, Tulare County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) and Kaweah Health were jointly awarded a $4.9 million grant from California Health Facilities Financing Authority for the creation of a child and adolescent Crisis Stabilization Unit (CSU). The 12-bed CSU, is expected to open late this summer in Visalia and be open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. It will provide crisis intervention services for children and youth under age 21.

Kaweah Health is a publicly-owned community healthcare organization that provides comprehensive health services to the greater Visalia region and Tulare County. With more than 5,000 employees and 700 medical staff, Kaweah Health is committed to meeting the community’s health needs through state-of-the-art medicine, high-quality preventive services and specialized health centers and clinics. For more information, visit www.kaweahhealth.org or follow Kaweah Health on Twitter and Facebook.

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