When someone in Delta needs a mental health professional, they have to get in the car and take a bit of a drive.

“Southeastern York is so limited in any kind of services,” said Torri Dietrich, the executive director for Mason-Dixon Community Services.The organization works with Community Progress Council to operate a community center in Delta, providing aid to low-income residents of York County and Harford County, just across the border in Maryland.

The center operates a food pantry, links residents to emergency funds and offers education on nutrition and financial literacy, but until now it offered no medical services. However, starting in December, TrueNorth Wellness Services will partner with the council to offer mental health services to Delta residents.

Residents of the roughly 700-person borough are vulnerable to the stresses of substance abuse, single-parent households, domestic violence and poverty, Dietrich said. The issues can cause depression and anxiety, but she said needed care often gets pushed to the side for things more immediately pressing.

“There’s no medical services, counseling services and many people lack transportation," Dietrich said. "They have to do the 40-minute drive to Bel Air (Maryland) or York.”

Though the small borough is not the epicenter of the state's heroin epidemic, it's been one of the most proactive in fighting it, according to York County Coroner Pam Gay. Last year, a forum on substance abuse drew more than 200 people. Neighbors formed the Mason-Dixon Anti-Drug Task Force and teamed up to combat addiction in their community by helping police target drug dealers, increasing community activities for children and hosting Narcotics Anonymous meetings.

TrueNorth operates centers in Hanover, York, Harrisburg, McConnellsburg, Gettysburg and Shrewsbury. The behavioral health center closed its standalone Delta facility because of a lack of participation, TrueNorth CEO Garrett Trout said, but the need was always there.

By offering walk-in services, Trout said he hopes to be as flexible as clients’ schedules.

Trout said the Community Progress Council and several community members tapped TrueNorth for the role because they already had experience offering mental health and substance-abuse treatment to the community.

On-site licensed therapists will be available on a walk-in basis from 9 a.m. to noon Monday through Thursday starting Dec. 1. The service can be paid  out of pocket or by using private insurance or Medicaid. Appointments aren’t necessary but they can be made by calling TrueNorth Intake Services at 1-800-315-0951. The center is at 5 Pendyrus St., Suite 2 in Delta.

“We’re just excited to enter back into the community,” Trout said. “It is a great one. The way this community bound together to seek treatment has been amazing to watch, and I think this speaks volumes. We’re looking forward to going down and helping any way we can.”

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