Consumer / Employer

Beacon brings mental health services to Texas Walmart store

Beacon Care Services, which is part of behavioral health company Beacon Health Options, has opened a mental health clinic at a Walmart location in Carrollton, Texas.

Sad face depression

Mental health services have come to an unlikely location: Walmart.

Beacon Health Options, a behavioral health company based in Boston, has launched Beacon Care Services, which offers outpatient mental health therapy in places like retail stores. The first practice is at a Walmart in Carrollton, Texas, a city about 20 miles from Dallas.

“We chose a retail setting for the first practice because it offers the convenience of a local neighborhood location that is close by and easy to get to, and our evening hours accommodate our patients’ schedules,” Beacon Health Options president and CEO Russell Petrella said in a statement. “Our online appointment scheduling system makes it easy for people to plan their visits ahead of time to fit into their busy lifestyles.”

According to the Beacon Care Services website, the Carrollton Walmart location accepts health insurance and is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. It is staffed by Jacqueline Baclawski, a mental health therapist. Individuals can book appointments, but there are also walk-in appointments available.

In addition to the Carrollton location, Beacon is exploring other areas where it could open mental health therapy clinics.

All practices are staffed by at least one clinician who can help patients with issues such as depression, anxiety, stress, trauma, relationship issues, gender identity concerns, life changes and more.

Beacon’s ultimate goal is to help close the care gap and bring more clinicians to areas where people lack access to behavioral health services.

Aside from mental health, Walmart has been revealing its own developments within the broader healthcare space. Earlier this year, it hired Sean Slovenski, the former vice president of innovation at Humana, as its senior vice president of health and wellness.

This past summer, the retail company also revealed a collaboration with health insurer Anthem. Through it, Anthem Medicare Advantage members can use over-the-counter plan allowances to buy OTC medications and health-related items (like pain relievers and first aid supplies) at Walmart stores and on Walmart.com. The program will begin in January 2019.

Photo: phototechno, Getty Images