TAMPA, Fla. — The pandemic has made many companies pay more attention to mental health and the need for more services and that includes CVS. So the next time you're headed to the drug store for a birthday card or prescription, you could also see a licensed therapist.
CVS Health said it hopes the convenience will offer more options to anyone in need.
"A third of respondents in Tampa experienced impact to their health and lifestyle due to the pandemic. But 39% reporting increased anxiety or 42% increased stress, although that's not surprising. It's really the question of how do we address it?" she asked.
CVS said they tried to address the problem by hiring licensed therapists to offer mental health appointments at their CVS Minute Clinics, either in person or virtually depending on what customers prefer.
"We're really trying to change how people think of mental health having to be this really painful, hard thing to access and really normalize it in some ways, like we have other types of healthcare," Karpinski said.
And the licensed therapist can handle most any topic.
"Assuming it's depression, anxiety, life adjustments, which we're all struggling with right now, just even parenting right how to do these new things. Then, they can schedule that initial visit and stay with the same person over time," she added.
But if there are more serious mental health issues and a prescription is needed, the social worker can refer you to a specialist, work with your primary care physician or collaborate with CVS's nurse practitioner. The cost can range from $69 to $129 per visit, but how you pay for it is up to you. The service does accept private pay or commercial health insurance.
There are several ways to make an appointment:
- You can call their toll-free number at 1-855-417-2486.
- You can schedule an in-person appointment online by clicking here.
- Or you can request a telehealth appointment and self-schedule on their website if you need to see someone immediately.
CVS said it plans to expand to more locations later this year. The pharmacy chain said some stores in Clearwater, Riverview, Tampa, Largo, and St. Petersburg will offer mental health counseling.
There are also other mental health resources available in addition to CVS' plan.
- Get help from the Tampa Bay Foundation for Mental Health
- Hillsborough County Mental Health Resources
- Resources from the National Alliance on Mental Illness
If you or anyone you know is experiencing thoughts of suicide, please call 2-1-1 in the Tampa Bay area for help, or the National Suicide Prevention hotline at 1-800-273-8255.