About Us

Carolina Outreach is an established, community-based LLC dedicated to providing confidential, individualized services to individuals in offices across North Carolina. In 2017, Carolina Outreach partnered with Alliance Behavioral Healthcare to create the first Behavioral Health Urgent Care (BHUC) in North Carolina.

The INDY Week newspaper describes the BHUC as “the psychiatric version of an urgent care clinic — a destination for patients who may need their medications refilled or want to be seen by a clinician for anxiety or depression, but don’t need to go to the hospital or a higher-level crisis facility.”

Currently, we are the only approved alternative option other than the emergency room for children under the ages of 18 who are experiencing or are at risk of experiencing a crisis episode, or who have run out of medication for their mental health needs.

The Carolina Outreach BHUC’s goal is to provide crisis counseling, safety assessments, medication refills, and connection to further mental health care, thereby reducing emergency room admission rates in North Carolina.

North Carolinians with psychiatric needs seek crisis services through the emergency room at nearly twice the rate of patients in other states. Often these patients end up waiting for hours to be seen, only to be discharged with a week of medications and limited connection to ongoing care. We provide concise, comprehensive access to psychiatrists, nurse practitioners, social workers, and other clinical staff in a safe, respectful environment.

Marissa Holsten

Director, LCSW

Marissa has a master’s degree in forensic psychology and social work. She has worked with Carolina Outreach for over 10 years and assisted in the creation of the BHUC in July 2017.

Sarah Derr

Case Manager

Sarah has a bachelor’s degree in psychology and is currently enrolled in a master’s degree of social work program at UNC Chapel Hill. She has been working at Carolina Outreach since May 2017, and joined the BHUC staff in April 2018.

Danya Holtzman

Clinician, MA, MSW, LCSWA

Danya has a master’s degree in social work from UNC Chapel Hill. She specialized in integrated health care while in school, and helped to run the SHAC program for two years. She has worked at the BHUC since its inception.

Jayde Elliott

Medical Administrative Assistant

Jayde joined the BHUC staff in April 2018. Jayde has a bachelor’s degree in biology from Old Dominion University. Her degree was focused in medicine and she aspires to become a physician’s assistant.

Dr. Therese Garrett

MD, Medical Director

Dr. Therese Garrett is a psychiatrist board certified in adult and child/adolescent psychiatry. She joined the BHUC in March 2018 and has been Carolina Outreach’s medical director since September 2018. She has specialized experience with trauma/abuse, foster care/adoption, women’s mental health issues, and disaster mental health.

Meagan Barrow

MSN, PMHNP-BC

Meagan has a master’s degree in nursing from UNC Chapel Hill. She is a licensed psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner and is board certified to treat individuals across the lifespan. She has experience in providing psychiatric services to individuals in a variety of settings including inpatient, outpatient, partial hospitalization day treatment, and the emergency department.

Tess Cialdini

BHUC Manager, LCSWA, LCASA

Tess has worked with adults with severe and persistent mental illness on Carolina Outreach’s Assertive Community Treatment Team prior to attending UNC Chapel Hill’s School of Social Work. She has worked with the BHUC since its inception.

Crenicia Gaunt

Clinician, MSW, LCSWA

Crenicia graduated in May 2018 with a master’s degree in social work from North Carolina Central University and joined the BHUC staff in July 2018. She has experience working in the VA Hospital and local shelters in Durham.

Nevada Storey

Receptionist

Nevada joined the BHUC staff in May 2018. She has experience working for the University of Florida Health clinics and hospitals.

Jamie Smolko

MPH, MSN, PMHNP-BC

Jamie has a master’s degree in nursing from the MGH Institute of Health Professions. Jamie is a licensed psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner and is board certified to treat individuals across the lifespan. She has experience working with children, adolescents and adults in crisis services, substance abuse treatment including MAT, and with Veterans. Jamie has been working in the BHUC since its inception.