FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 24, 2015
HHC Elmhurst Hospital Center’s School Based Mental Health Clinic Honored For Influence on Community’s Children
Only school-based clinic to be honored by New York State Office of Mental Health
(Elmhurst, NY – June 24, 2015) The New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC) Elmhurst Hospital Center today announced that its school-based mental health clinic located at I.S. 145 in Jackson Heights, Queens, was one of five innovative programs recognized by New York State’s Office of Mental Health at its annual “What’s Great in Our State” Awards Ceremony in Albany. The clinic, which serves a diverse population of 2,200 students, was honored for its positive influence on the social and emotional development of children in the community.
“Our school based clinic provides vital mental health services to the children of immigrant and working families who often find it difficult to access the care they need,” said Chris Constantino, Senior Vice President of the Queens Health Network and Executive Director of HHC Elmhurst Hospital Center. “Elmhurst Hospital is always seeking innovative and dynamic ways to bring positive change to the surrounding community. The collaboration between the school and HHC Elmhurst has been successful in providing mental health services in a school-based setting, preventing students from being potentially hospitalized.”
HHC Elmhurst opened the clinic at I.S. 145 in February 2003 to better serve a population of students who were sometimes sent to the emergency room for mental health services. The clinic offers social services as well as psychiatric care, and bilingual staff are available to accommodate families that speak Spanish.
Students are referred for services at the clinic by school staff, parents, and outside community clinics. Patients receive mental health services such as intensive individual therapy, family therapy, medication treatment, educational advocacy, and crisis walk-in services for depression, psychosis, self-harm, and anger issues. On average the clinic treats approximately 150 to 160 patients annually regardless of their immigration status or ability to pay.
“School-based programs are at the forefront of efforts to provide access to care in community settings,” said Dr. A. Reese Abright, Elmhurst Hospital Center’s Director of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. “Our staff, led by Program Manager Anthy Phillips and Dr. Salvacion Bonete, the program psychiatrist, are to be congratulated for their successful collaboration with the school principal, Dr. Dolores Beckham, and other school staff for running and supporting a highly regarded on-site mental health service for a diverse population of students at I.S. 145.”
Patients seeking more information on HHC Elmhurst’s school-based mental health clinic at I.S. 145 in Queens should call (718) 899-0592.