A mental health clinic at a park? One Fort Worth doctor wants to make it happen
Fort Worth Star-Telegram - 8/20/2019
Aug. 19--FORT WORTH -- Brian Dixon believes everyone should have a therapist. That's why he wants to build a giant mental health complex at Glenwood Park called Mindful at Glenwood Park.
Mindful is meant to address two things that make it difficult for people to have access to mental health care. Dixon, a doctor, said mental health clinicians have typically been relegated to the back of an office or a hospital, forcing people to navigate a maze of hallways just to get to their therapist. The physical presence in the back of a building just reinforces the stigma of mental illness, so by taking the practice of mental health care out of the shadows and into a centralized location in Fort Worth, it will put the issue in the forefront of people's minds.
"In our society, you value what you pay for and you pay for what you value," Dixon said.
The second issue Mindful is meant to address is the barrier to entry that many mental health clinicians face in starting their own practice. Dixon said they have to jump through so many hoops and navigate so much unnecessary red tape that often doctors can't even start their own private practice. By building a complex manned with mental health clinicians, it can make it more financially feasible for doctors to have their own practice.
The location of the planned complex is also intentional: Glenwood Park is in southeast Fort Worth, in an area with a large black and Hispanic population. While mental health is important for everyone, it's especially important for people of color, many of whom have experienced societal trauma and are also less likely to seek out care for said trauma.
"One of the best ways to deal with that is normalize access," Dixon said. "I can go individually and do that on an individual basis, but I get much more leverage when there's a center for mental health healing."
Mindful at Glenwood Park still has a few steps to go through before becoming a reality. Dixon has partnered with Urban Land Institute and has found a developer to help in the process. Right now the next step is to find the land to build it on.
If the center can't go in Glenwood Park, then at the very least it will be in District 8.
"It's the one ripe for development," Dixon said. "Ideally we'll have it in the park ... Right now, the step is to see if we can procure the land."
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