Utah County residents who need mental health services have another option, thanks to the opening of Mountain Peaks Counseling, a part of Wasatch Mental Health.

The facility had a ribbon cutting Thursday for its office at 585 E. 600 South, suite 210, Provo. While Wasatch Mental Health serves those who are Medicaid recipients, Mountain Peaks Counseling offers the same services to those who have their own insurance or are private pay.

"Fifty years ago, JFK passed the Community Mental Health Act," Juergen Korbanka, the company's CEO, said. "It deinstitutionalized individuals and was widely successful." Another goal of the act was to provide behavioral health services -- to have community mental health centers, he said. With that change, many of the centers focused on the Medicaid recipients.

Mountain Peaks is changing that.

"This is a tremendous step toward creating a true community mental health service," he said. "This is a tremendous step toward fulfilling our mission."

Dean Anderson, the director of Mountain Peaks Counseling, said he was pleased with the new program.

"It is fun to see it come to pass," he said. "We are excited about the potential it has." He said people like the quality of care they have received, but wanted more options.

"Now we are able to provide the same quality of care," he said. The same three therapists will be available, and they have four more ready to step in.

"We will add even more when it is needed," he said.

The clinic is open Monday through Thursday, from 5 to 9 p.m.

"Our commitment is to serve people in the evenings so the working population can get treatment without having to take time off of work," Anderson said. "If the demand is there, we will open Saturday mornings as well."

Those who wish to make an appointment may call (801) 960-1620.

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-- Barbara Christiansen covers news in American Fork ˜ government, schools, residents, business and more.
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