Mental Health Clinics in NYC Part 2:
What to Look For

It’s hard to watch your child struggle with a mental illness, especially if you don’t know what’s wrong or don’t fully understand the mental health diagnosis. The good news is that mental illnesses are treatable through reputable mental health clinics. Medication, therapy or a combination of these can help your child recover from a mental illness and enjoy a happy, productive life.

Locating a Mental Health Clinic

Finding a high-quality mental health clinic is essential for the best possible outcomes of treatment. There are several ways to find a suitable behavioral health clinic in New York:

  • Ask your health insurance company to provide you with a list of providers they cover
  • Get a recommendation or referral from your primary care physician
  • Ask trusted friends and family members for recommendations
  • Find out whether your child’s student health center offers mental health services
  • Look for directories on the websites of organizations such as the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the American Psychiatric Association or the American Psychological Association
  • Armed with a list of providers that are convenient to your location, you can begin the vetting process. Call or visit the website of each provider and ask about their services and policies.

    Aspects of a Quality Mental Health Clinic

    Research-based Treatments

    A quality behavioral health clinic will utilize only research-based therapies and will never use controversial or experimental treatments.

    Integrated Treatment

    If more than one mental illness is present, such as post-traumatic stress disorder and an eating disorder, treatment will be integrated so that each diagnosis is treated in the context of the others. Quality treatment centers will work to treat all diagnosis in order to provide whole person care.

    Licensed and Experienced Providers

    All mental health providers at high-quality clinics will be licensed and experienced in their field.

    Mental Health Clinic Accreditations

    Accredited clinics have undergone an intense evaluation process for management, practices, staff, treatments, environment and other markers. An accreditation means the clinic meets or exceeds strict standards for quality.

    Specialties

    A quality mental health clinic will employ therapists with a range of specialties. Specializations include trauma, addiction, family therapy, stress, anxiety, depression and eating disorders.

    Insurance and Payments

    Choose a clinic that accepts your insurance. If you don’t have insurance, find a clinic that assesses fees on a sliding scale and/or accepts payments.

    If your child needs help but is uninsured, check for Medicaid eligibility. According to NBC News, other places to find low-cost care include mental health training institutions, university hospitals and non-profit organizations.

    A Holistic Treatment Approach

    Holistic treatment addresses issues of body, mind and spirit and provides the best possible outcomes, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Treatment will include a variety of traditional and complementary therapies that promote whole-person healing.

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