206830 Creating an Integrated Child/Adolescent Mental Health System of Care in the South Bronx

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Neil Pessin, PhD , Community Mental Health Services, Visiting Nurse Service of NY, New York, NY
Jessica Fear, MA, LMFT , Community Mental Health Services, Visiting Nurse Service of New York, Bronx, NY
David C. Lindy, MD , Community Mental Health, Visiting Nurse Service of New York, New York, NY
The concept of a “system of care” has been talked about since the early 1980's. Yet true implementation of such a system is difficult to achieve for many organizations. In 2004, the Visiting Nurse Service of New York's Community Mental Health Services Division was invited by the New York State Office of Mental Health to take control of the operations of one such project – the FRIENDS Program – in the Mott Haven neighborhood in the Bronx. Currently, the FRIENDS program is one of an array of separately funded yet complementary children's mental health programs all providing services out of the same facility in the South Bronx. Each program functions under a separate funding stream, and is contracted to offer a discrete mental health service with corresponding outcomes to this very needy population. After several years of operating in this traditional manner, it became clear that the families served would receive more collaborated, comprehensive, seamless and thorough care if the programs functioned not as independent entities, but as an integrated system. This presentation will illustrate our efforts to integrate each of these distinct children's programs into one comprehensive system of care, aimed at meeting the mental health and psychosocial needs of the families in this vastly underserved community. Additionally we will include data related to client outcomes such as scores from the Youth Outcome Questionnaire (YOQ), Peabody SFSS (17 Question version), Caregiver Strain Scale and school attendance data, to illustrate the effectiveness of creating a non-traditional integrated collaborative care delivery system.

Learning Objectives:
1. As a result of the presentation, participants will be able to identify appropriate client populations that would be ideal for implementing a similar system of care. 2. As a result of the presentation, participants will be able to identify the challenges and roadblocks to integrating discrete yet overlapping services into one integrated care delivery system. 3. As a result of the presentation, participants will be able to apply the strategies used by the presenters to organize care that addresses the complex needs of children and families in underserved communities.

Keywords: Mental Health System, Child/Adolescent Mental Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: In 1986, Dr. Pessin joined the Visiting Nurse Service of New York (VNS), an organization with a venerable history of public health, to start its division of Community Mental Health Services. Continuing his interest in psychiatric outreach he developed VNS mobile crisis services in the Bronx, Queens and then Manhattan. Building on the model of bringing care to those who would not receive treatment if it were not brought to them, Dr. Pessin has helped develop the division to its current size of twenty-one distinct programs. These programs treat approximately 15,000 patients a year and have an average census of up to 3,000 patients a day. Along with his commitment to patient care, Dr. Pessin has a deep commitment to the professional development of staff as well as the measurement of patient outcomes. Dr. Pessin, along with colleagues at VNS, has published several articles on community based mental health services. He has given dozens of lectures and workshops on related topics at many national and international professional meetings.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.