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Finding Treatment

If you, or someone you know, is seeking treatment it is important to understand your symptoms.  Most importantly, it is crucial to know the reason why you are seeking treatment

The most common reasons individuals seek treatment:
eating disorders
marital conflict
substance abuse
traumatic experiences
time management problems
social skill training

If you have private insurance that you have purchased or that is provided by your employer, you may have mental health treatment coverage.

Before contacting a mental health professional you should first call your insurance company (generally individuals have a card with a number for treatment information) to learn what coverage you have. You also must find out the restrictions of that coverage. For example, you may be mandated only to go to providers that participate in your health insurance plan, you may have a co-payment, and a limited amount of visits per year. It is also important to learn about your options. For example, if you do not want to use a provider that is part of your plan, will you be reimbursed if you go to a provider outside of your insurance plan network?

If you do not have mental health coverage, but you have medical coverage to see a primary care physician, you should make an appointment with a doctor in your plan. Most primary care doctors or family doctors are familiar with mental health problems and can be a valuable source of providing treatment and assistance.

Understanding your health insurance coverage is very important. Generally, most insurance companies have web sites and written material that provides information about your coverage. It is suggested that you get this information and place it in a file that is easily accessible and you should periodically check for updates.

If you have Medicare or Medicaid, your mental health benefits will be generally covered. However, pay close attention to restrictions. Medicare insurance is for people 65 years and older or for people who have a disability and have been granted Medicare as part of their disability benefit. Generally speaking Medicare will only pay 50% of the cost of your treatment.

If you do not have insurance or are unable to afford treatment you may be eligible for treatment at publicly funded mental health centers and other mental health programs. Often these programs are based on a sliding-scale and arrangements are made to assist an individual according to their ability to pay. The mental health professionals in these programs are qualified and individuals will often receive the same type of treatment as if they were paying for it or it was being paid for by private insurance. The down side is that many of these programs have limited resources and this may result in long waiting lists or other barriers to accessing treatment. Universities or teaching centers may also be a source of low-cost or free treatment services. It is recommended that you contact those in your area.

Mental Health Professionals
Social workers are trained to help individuals, families and groups in an array of services, from psychotherapy to health and welfare programs. They work with development and behavior in the social, economic and cultural systems in which people function. The goal of a social worker is to alter behaviors, emotions, attitudes, relationships and social conditions in order to restore and enhance the ability of people to reach their personal and social needs.

Mental health counselors are practitioners trained in counseling and psychotherapy. They treat individuals with mental and emotional disorders, as well as other behavioral issues. Mental health counselors focus on mental health, human relationships, education and career concerns within ethical, developmental, preventive and treatment contexts.

Psychoanalysts are practitioners use both verbal and non-verbal communications to uncover unconscious blocks affecting a patient’s behavior or personality. They treat a wide array of conditions, including anxiety and depression.

Psychologists diagnose and treat mental, nervous, emotional and behavioral disorders. Their services extend to individuals, organizations and the public. They offer services in the following areas:

·         For individuals and groups, evaluate, counsel and provide psychotherapy for the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of various disorders

·         Administer and interpret tests of mental abilities and aptitudes, interests, neuropsychological status, personality, emotions and motivation,

·         Evaluate and develop habilitation plans and treat individuals for addictions, cognitive impairments and neuropsychological disorders

·         Provide educational and vocational planning

·         Perform personnel selection, organizational management and evaluation and advertising/marketing research

Marriage and family therapists are practitioners trained in individual psychotherapy, as well as families, to assess and treat mental, emotional and behavioral disorders. They also work to address an array of relationship issues within the marital/couple, family and other relationships .

Support Groups
Support groups are extremely important when receiving treatment.  Support groups are a way for individuals to receive both emotional and practical support while in treatment.  Individuals, as well as their family members, find support groups to be extremely helpful and valuable to recovery.  These groups create a place where individuals can come together and share medical history, have a feeling of "normality", educate each other and in essence "blow off some steam"

Support groups are made up of people who share common interests or have gone through similar experiences.  These groups create a place where relationships between strangers can be molded.

Many communities have support groups that can be quite helpful in assisting people with mental health problems. They are also a good resource to learn about treatment opportunities from other individuals who attend the group. Support group members share their experiences, learn coping skills and exchange information on community providers.

Some ways to find support groups are:
talking to a doctor
ask an administrator at your local hospital
consulting with reference librarians at your local library
checking online resources

Finding treatment in Staten Island and surrounding areas

If you are interested in getting treatment for a mental health concern in the Staten Island area, please read the information below regarding the treatment center at Freedom From Fear, located at, 308 Seaview Avenue Staten Island, New York 10305

Freedom From Fear, in conjunction with Clinical Management Consultants, has been treating patients with various mental illnesses since 1986. The center specializes in the treatment of anxiety disorders, major depression, bipolar disorder and treatment services for children and adolescents as well. There are no treatment services for substance abuse or schizophrenia but, we can help an individual in finding a facility that can address these problems.

The treatment team consists of psychiatrists, psychologists, psychiatric nurses, social workers and other licensed mental health professionals. All of the medical doctors have extensive experience in treating these illnesses and are licenses/Board Certified psychiatrists. The non-prescribing staff members are all licensed in their respective fields and have a minimum of five to ten years’ experience treating all the major anxiety disorders (including Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) as well as depressive illnesses. All the therapists are also extremely well trained in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

If you are looking for an evaluation for someone under the age of 18, please call x. 20.  Thank you.

New patient evaluations are done on a walk-in basis every Tuesday from 2:00PM - 4:00PM and every Thursday from 3:00PM - 5:00PM. Please check with your insurance company prior to coming to our office to make sure that your plan with cover your visit.  We see patients on a first come first serve basis.  If we are unalble to accomodate all patients on a particular day, we will provide you with the necessary paperwork and schedule your evaluation at a later date.

The center has a very high success rate in treating anxiety and depressive illnesses. If you have any further questions, and wish to speak to a staff member, please call ext. 20. Children and adolescents under the age of 18 cannot come for a walk-in evaluation. They must call for ext. 20 for an appointment. The treatment center has two licensed/Board Certified child psychiatrists on staff.