LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Mental health services are in great demand in Southern California, but access to them can be challenging.
Now some major retail drug stores are jumping in to help meet the need.
Prescriptions and vaccines are why most people come to the CVS in Westwood, but many may be surprised to learn the store is also offering mental health services.
"I think it's great. It's definitely time," said customer Vicki Mizrahi.
At the pharmacy's Wellness Center, licensed therapist Tiffany Ramm sees to her clients' needs.
"Our level of mental-health professionals can service anxiety, depression, grief loss, work, stress. Anything that falls under mild-to-moderate emotional behavioral issues," she said.
A new CVS/Harris Poll "Health Trends Report on the Future of Healthy Aging" finds 40% of health-care providers have a high level of concern about the mental health of patients over 65.
"Americans over the age of 65, we know, are kind of reluctant or resistant to reporting mental-health needs. And so increasing their accessibility and the convenience will help them access our services," Ramm said.
The same poll finds 74% of 18-to-34-year-olds are reporting some kind of mental-health symptom.
Licensed mental-health care professionals are available for in-person appointments at six different CVS locations throughout the Los Angeles metro area, but they can also offer virtual care to any California resident 18 and over.
Mizrahi says she knows a lot of people who are suffering.
"The stress from COVID. The financial situation. Lots of things." Mizrahi said.
Ramm added: "If you're overwhelmed, absolutely call. It's worth a call. But the great part is, there's good ways to figure out the symptoms that might indicate if you should get a mental health screening."
Mental-health services offered at CVS are covered by most insurance plans.