HHC takes an active role in the area of behavioral health. HHC facilities offer a diverse range of behavioral health services for children, adults and seniors, including emergency psychiatric services, treatment for mental illness and help for people recovering from alcoholism or chemical dependency.
Individuals suffering from mental illness are treated in an environment of respect, using evidence-based approaches. Patients and their families are engaged in treatment planning, as well as rehabilitation and recovery opportunities. HHC also uses evidence-based approaches in treatment for chemical dependency, such as motivational interviewing, in which patients are encouraged to look at their strengths and use them to help make positive steps in their recovery and contingency management, which rewards incremental behavior changes in recovering patients. Buprenorphine, a new office-based treatment for addictions to heroin and pain medications, is also available.
Many patients suffer from both a mental illness and a chemical dependency disorder. HHC is equipped throughout our service system to recognize and treat these disorders when they both exist. Our facilities also offer special mental health programs that are tailored to patients with very specific needs, offering culturally appropriate treatment for immigrant New Yorkers, counseling for evacuees from the events of 9/11, and even a unique program for survivors of torture.
Recognizing that patients with chronic diseases suffer from clinical depression more than the general population, HHC has made a commitment to identify depression through screening individuals during their ambulatory care visits. HHC utilizes a nationally recognized screening — which is easy for many types of health care providers to use, not just mental health experts—to help diagnose depression. The corporation is working to make depression screening part of routine medical care for all patients. Patients with chronic illness are the first to be screened because they suffer from higher rates of depression. Research shows that treating underlying depression is often an important first step toward successful patient self-management of other diseases and influences the rates of recovery.
Click here for a list of HHC hospitals, all of which offer behavioral health services.