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Serving the Underserved: Who Needs Mental Health Care?

Serving the Underserved: Who Needs Mental Health Care?

In a workshop titled “Behavioral Health Services Within an Immigrant Community: A Population Health Perspective From a Student-Run Free Clinic” at last month's American Psychiatric Association Institute on Psychiatric Services meeting in Philadelphia, Andres Barkil-Oteo, MD, Marco A. Ramos, BA, and Michelle Alejandra Silva, PsyD addressed specific concerns when treating the immigrant sector (more in this video).

The HAVEN Free Clinic Behavioral Health (BH) Program for Depression is an American Psychiatric Association-funded initiative (A Helping Hands grant) in which supervised health professional students provide mental health services to uninsured, largely undocumented, Spanish-speaking immigrants. In alignment with the World Health Organization Mental Health GAP guidelines, this program provides first-line services including:

(1) psychoeducation
(2) reduction of psychosocial stressors
(3) modified behavioral activation exercises to patients with mild-to-moderate depression

To address the lack of specialist mental health providers available to the immigrant community, these services are provided by Yale University medical student volunteers trained and supervised by an interdisciplinary team of psychiatrists and psychologists. The BH Program provides this population with free services grounded in a population mental health approach that focuses on the promotion of mental health and prevention of mental illnesses

Dr Barkil-Oteo is Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine. Mr Ramos is  a fourth-year MD/PhD student at Yale University. Dr Silva is Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine and Associate Director, Connecticut Latino Behavioral Health System, in New Haven, Connecticut.

Related content:
Disparities of Care
Clinical Issues and Challenges in Treating Undocumented Immigrants
Depression-Related Disparities Among Older, Low-Acculturated US Latinos

 
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