EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) — The University of Evansville — in a partnership with Easterseals — hosted its ribbon cutting of the “UE Mental Health and Wellness Clinic” on Friday.

The clinic’s opening also includes the addition of the “Emily M. Young Assessment Center” where diagnosing and treating of mental health conditions will take place.

UE is calling mental healthcare a necessity, and soon expected thousands will be treated in the facility located on Lincoln Avenue. Some are calling the opening a “significant moment” for the city.

University administrators are saying the clinic will be home to much-needed services — like therapy, prescribing medicine and treating some conditions like ADHD, depression and bipolar disorder.

University President Chris Pietruszkiewicz says Evansville residents normally wait up to eight months for treatment, and he hopes this clinic can help cut that number to half.

“We know that the number one issue in Evansville from a medical perspective is mental health,” Pietruszkiewicz said. “With this, we get a chance to be able to address the number one area that both Deaconess and St. Vincent tell us that they need the most help with.”

The Emily M. Young Assessment Center is housed inside the clinic for treatment. It is named for the late Emily Young — the daughter of U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of Indiana Richard L. Young.

Eight therapy rooms and two assessment rooms are inside the center.

“We’ll see community-based patients — many of which don’t have access to insurance that don’t have the ability to pay to have mental health services done and clinical services performed,” Pietruszkiewicz said. “Our students will be able to provide pro bono services to so many others in the community.”

Between 10 and 15 of UE’s doctorate of psychology students will operate the center under supervision of a licensed clinical psychologist.

First-year doctorate student Sabrina Yamashita says mental health services are important, and she will be among those taking care of in-takes and therapy sessions.

Once in her second year in the program, she will spend up to 20 hours every week working at the clinic.

“This is a great opportunity,” Yamashita said. “I’m not only excited for the clinic to be operating soon to give back to the community — but being born and raised here — it’s really great to fill the gap in a place I’ve been raised in.”

The clinic’s first patients and clients will be seen in January.