Sonny Pickowitz chats with a SummitStone staff member

SummitStone Health Partners Behavioral Health Urgent Care

Helping people cope, manage, recover from a mental health crisis

By Kathy Hayes

A family conflict left Devon* homeless, socially isolated, and struggling to cope.

Devon is not alone. Each year, one in five people experiences a mental or behavioral health issue that impairs their ability to function in daily activities. 

Fortunately, help is available. SummitStone Health Partners’ Behavioral Health Urgent Care provides immediate help, 8 a.m. to midnight, 7 days a week, for anyone who is experiencing a mental health or substance use crisis. (While the center is not a detox facility, it serves as a resource for anyone who may need detox services, or for their loved ones.)

The crisis center was established in 2014, after the Aurora theatre shooting prompted efforts across the state to provide crisis service intervention for behavioral health. Summit-Stone Health Partners became a partner in providing services to individuals in Larimer County.

SummitStone provides many ways to access help: through a local crisis line, a mobile response team, a Crisis Stabilization Unit (CSU) that provides short-term residential care for people 18 or older, and the Behavioral Health Urgent Care walk-in facility. Both the urgent care and CSU are located at 1217 Riverside Avenue in Fort Collins. From 2014-2018, over 18,000 crisis services were provided.

“SummitStone provides care for anyone experiencing a self-defined crisis,” says Cassie Damato, director of Acute Services. “This could be the first signs of depression, anxiety, panic attacks, suicidal or homicidal thoughts, or any other self-defined behavioral health crisis. SummitStone is here to provide a full spectrum of care.

Pull quote box: I am thinking more clearly and I am focused on tomorrow, when before I wasn't sure if there would be a tomorrow“The crisis center is a warm, comfortable environment with trained mental health professionals who can connect people with appropriate resources in the community.”

Upon arriving at the center, a client is greeted by the front desk staff and then meets privately with an urgent care clinician to assess the client’s crisis and determine the level of care that will be most helpful.

“Care ranges from developing a safety plan to be used at home in collaboration with loved ones, to connecting the client with community resources, to engaging with outpatient services, to being admitted to the Crisis Stabilization Unit,” explains Sonny Pickowitz, manager of both the Behavioral Health Urgent Care and the Crisis Stabilization Unit.

“We often work with Connections to link clients to resources that we might not be able to provide,” she adds. The Connections team is a partnership between the Health District of Northern Larimer County and SummitStone Health Partners that provides answers, options, and support for adults in need of mental health or substance use services.

The overwhelming majority of people who receive help for a mental health crisis are able to effectively function in daily activities again, Pickowitz says.

After seeking help at the crisis center, Devon worked with his crisis team and embarked on a treatment plan that included being admitted to the Crisis Stabilization Unit, medication management, learning coping skills, and participating in one-on-one and group therapy sessions. Several days later, upon leaving the crisis center, he reported feeling much better on his medications and much more motivated about his future.

*Not his real name.

How to get help

SummitStone Health Partners provides evidence-based treatment to help people transform their own lives through recovery, renewal, and respect. No cost with Medicaid. Sliding fee scale for self-pay. Some private insurance accepted. summitstonehealth.org

Get help fast in a mental health or substance use crisis:

Walk-In Crisis Service or Mobile Response

Behavioral Health Urgent Care
Walk-in hours 8 a.m. – midnight, 7 days a week
1217 Riverside Ave, Fort Collins
970-494-4200 – answered 24/7/365, call for support or to request a mobile response team

Call or Text

Statewide Crisis Hotline
Call 1-844-493-8255 - answered 24/7/365
Text TALK to 38255

Services are free and confidential.