WILMINGTON, N.C. — The need for mental health services has only grown over the past year in light of the pandemic. In order to meet the demand, MindPath Care Centers is opening its first office in Wilmington. MindPath is the largest outpatient mental health care group in the state, with 180 providers and 20 office locations.

“We're all about trying to help people understand that mental health care is a good thing,” says the CEO of MindPath, Jeff Williams. “It's not something to be stigmatized and we talk about it, not so much as mental and behavior health care, but we talk about it as mind care. We think health care begins with mind care.”

The new location will have 10 local providers in the office who will be meeting with patients either virtually or in-person.

Nurse practitioner at the new office, Tanya Bush, lives in the community and sees the need firsthand. She says she's excited to start working with patients and providing the high quality care MindPath is known for.

“I see patients from five to 105, so when they come to see me, they will see someone who has a lot of training and experience and has true empathy for what they are experiencing,” Bush says. “Our goal in the end is for them to feel better and have a great quality of life and have joy and contentment.”

MindPath offers a variety services including psychiatric care, substance abuse disorder, and addiction recovery programs. The goal is to be a one-stop-shop for people seeking assistance, making it easy for them to find services.

Williams says the pandemic has de-stigmatized mental health care by 10 years. He says if there's any silver lining to the pandemic, it's the fact that people are realizing it's OK to struggle with things like anxiety and depression.

“It's becoming more comfortable,” Williams says. “People talk about it and hear about it all the time and so finally people are realizing how important it is to balance your overall health and wellness, to actually take care of your mind care and physical care.”