Bleuler Psychotherapy Center's hosted events, news-worthy articles, and other happenings from the psychotherapy and chemical dependency fields
May is Mental Health Awareness Month
Mental Health Month has been celebrated in May since 1949 (as long as Bleuler as been in existence!).Mental Health America provides tips to cope with stress and uncertainties, outreach mechanisms, and additional information regarding COVID-19 and its impact on mental health. Mental Health America has released a 2021 toolkit that provides practical tools that everyone can use to improve their mental health and increase their resiliency regardless of their personal situation. The toolkit includes sample materials for communications and social media as well as printable handouts on the following topics:
- Adapting after trauma and stress
- Dealing with anger and frustration
- Getting out of thinking traps
- Processing big changes
- Taking time for yourself
- Radical acceptance
Please click the link here to register and access the full toolkit
2nd Floor Remodeling Project
We are pleased to update everyone about the 2nd floor makeover project that is underway! We are excited to finally modernize our main hub after several months of planning, coordinating, obtaining permits, finding the right contractors – ICS Builders, Inc. (the same contractors who renovated our 3rd floor suite) and interior designer.
The major demolition work of this makeover will be increasing the size of the Waiting Room by removing the prior treatment Room #20 and taking some space from the Front Office, swapping our current Staff Lounge with the prior “Fake Lounge” to have a new kitchen/lounge area for our staff and revamping the main Front Office (which will be a better space for backend operations and a reception area). The rest of the project includes new wall paint, carpet/vinyl flooring, replacing the ceiling tiles and lighting, covering up the radiators, insulating walls and purchasing new furniture. We will be working in phases as we did for the 3rd floor . We now have completed 6 treatment rooms and 2 admin rooms that are now actively in use!
Please enjoy some sneak peak photos and design renderings below:
COVID-19 Vaccination Update
It was a pleasure to work with the OMH and OASAS O-agency Link Outreach-Vaccinate (O-LOV) program for hosting vaccines onsite at our facility. O-LOV most recently administered vaccines to both BPC staff and clients on April 14, 2021. We strive to continue working with O-LOV on subsequent vaccinations events and schedule those eligible to receive the vaccine. Please inform your supervisor if you or your clients are interested. We are excited to coordinate and host future events as successful as the ones before!
BPC Telehealth Division
We are excited to announce the launch of our Telehealth Division and offer new positions here at BPC. Our Telehealth Clinicians will report to the Telehealth Coordinator and provide psychotherapy sessions remotely. We hope that this new division will allow us to expand our services outside the NYC area and provide behavioral healthcare to underserved areas. We’re thrilled to broaden the possibilities of more interactions with potential new partners and community organizations to deliver care to both established and new patients through telehealth.
On Friday 2/19/2021, BPC welcomed Ronnie and Angelo from Allure Pharmacy who administered the first dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to 39 individuals. The combination of BPC patients and staff who received the vaccine reported on the success of the event including, setup, safety, and giveaways.
A huge “Thank You” to BPC’s Front Office staff for a spectacular job of rapidly scheduling staff and patients the days leading up to the event. Another “Thank You” to clinician Courtney Dunn, LMSW for making the initial referral to Allure Pharmacy so that we could begin this great partnership.
Representatives from Allure Pharmacy will return on 3/23/2021 to administer the second dose of the vaccine to these 39 individuals.
BPC has connected with Allure Pharmacy for a client vaccination event at the clinic site. Our target date is Friday 2/19/2021 and we should be receiving 50 doses of which we would like to administer to our patients primarily 65 and older. Our clinical staff has begun to identify these patients to ensure that we utilize these vaccinations as effectively as possible.
We are excited to announce the beginning of our long awaited second floor makeover and remodeling project. We have listened to feedback from our staff and patients and are making changes to enhance our second floor clinical and administrative space that will include a redesigned waiting area and various aesthetic changes to our treatment rooms and hallways. Since we are conducting our services remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are taking the opportunity while our space is empty to complete this project. Stay tuned for photographs as we progress through these changes!
BPC continues to send COVID-19 vaccination updates to our staff who as our behavioral health team is eligible as part of the 1a class. We have been coordinating with Wyckoff Heights Medical Center to vaccinate our staff.
By becoming vaccinated, we can serve as models for other staff and our patients to facilitate a return to safer times.
BPC became a proud provider agency of NY Project Hope at the beginning of the new year. NY Project Hope is a statewide crisis counseling initiative available to every New York resident. The Crisis Counseling Program provides support, outreach, and education to assist individuals and communities coping with COVID-19. It is a strengths-based program offering support that promotes resilience, empowerment, and recovery… always free, confidential, and anonymous.We realize the importance of providing support during this difficulttime and have taken the steps to bring this exciting initiative to our clinic. Our Program Coordinator, Jose Lopez, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 718.275.6010 if you have any questions. For more information on NY Project Hope, please visit their website at https://nyprojecthope.org/
At BPC we continue to provide valuable mental health and substance use services to individuals not only in Queens but across New York City. During this difficult time, we have been able to offer our services to individuals across the state, holding true to our mission of providing rapid access and quality care to those who need it most. We have transitioned the delivery of our clinical services to Telehealth (Doxy.me) and have begun to revitalize our existing groups that many have been asking about. Our Mental Health and Substance Use programs continue to remain open to provide services to existing patients and have been able to engage new patients on a weekly basis. As we look forward to our site being open in the coming months, we have created work groups to ensure that when this time comes, we reopen in a safe and thoughtful way.
We congratulate our Social Work Intern Class for the Fall 2019/Spring 2020 semesters on successfully completing their clinical and administrative responsibilities at BPC. Through the challenges of the last two months, they were able to keep their patients engaged in services while providing support to both the administrative and clinical staff at BPC.
Alexandra Kagan, MSW – New York University
Sarah Pettit, MSW – Hunter University
Melissa Pietaro, MSW – New York University
Catherine Rossi, MSW – Columbia University
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, on March 18, 2020 BPC moved all routine in person services to remote telehealth services. The clinic site remains open on Wednesdays from 10am-3pm to provide services to those who do not have access to the necessary electronic devices to take part in telehealth services as well as to provide injectable medication to those who benefit from them. Our clinical staff has been able to keep existing patients engaged and bring on new patients in this time of need, while decreasing cancellations resulting in more consistent care. New patients have also been accommodated through rapid access and the continued efforts of our Intake Department.
We are pleased to announce that our Third Floor renovations are fully completed and approved for program use. This renovation has been a vision of ours for over four years and represents a significant reinvestment of money to improve both the patient and staff experiences for years to come. This reinvestment affords us the capacity to meet demands and expand our services and program offerings with the addition of six treatment rooms including a new group therapy room and creating a new open and warm waiting room for our clients. It is estimated that the six treatment spaces can accommodate 400 patient contacts per week. The Third Floor, in its entirety, will house our Article 32 Substance Use Program and part of our Article 31 Mental Health Program.
This opening of the Third Floor would not have been possible without the relentless work of our Director of Administrative Services, Lora De Guzman, who has coordinated every painstaking aspect of the project to include serving as primary liaison to our architect, coordination with IT, furniture suppliers, our landlord and coordination of the least disruptive on site work time, and too many other loose ends to mention. Thank you Lora!
With the completion of the third floor, we will now turn our attention to the second floor renovation and improving that space for all.
In October 2019 BPC was awarded grant funding from the Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) for support in our Substance Use program. The award is titled “Program Innovation and Fiscal Sustainability” designed to support outpatient providers in developing standards, analyzing performance for CQI, increasing knowledge about the cost of services, and improving access to services with a focus on the provision of Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) treatment.
The award (up to $100K) will assist us in our continued practice transformation specifically to increase the skill and efficacy of our workforce and to ensure that staff are prepared to provide rapid Opioid Use Disorder care while building sustainable services. The funding is intended to help providers implement best practices for treatment of OUD through programmatic restructuring, workforce retraining, and achieving financial sustainability through revenue maximization and improvement of workflow efficiencies.
Our funding will be contingent on meeting state initiatives, implementation metrics, and outcome measures across BPC to include the following OUD best practices:
- Same-day appointment access
- Initiation of Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) for new OUD admissions within 48 hours; and
- Continuity and retention in addiction treatment services
We thank Governor Cuomo and Commissioner González-Sánchez for their confidence in and support of BPC as we contribute to fighting and treating the Opioid and other substance use disorder crises. Special thanks to Ms. Liana Cools, Program Manager for our Substance Use Program for taking the lead as well as all departments that contributed to Request for Applications response.
With BPC’s growing patient population, we have worked to increase psychiatric hours allowing us to stay true to our mission of rapid engagement to care. To meet the needs of our patients who would benefit from medication management, BPC has begun to utilize Psychiatrists as well as Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners to provide coverage on all days that the clinic is open.
In late September 2019, BPC’s Substance Use program integrated the services of a Certified Recovery Peer Advocate (CRPA). CRPAs (pronounced “Cer-pahs”) are peer guides (or mentors), usually in recovery themselves, a family member of someone in recovery or a friend or ally of the Recovery Community with lived experience with addiction. Commissioner, Arlene González-Sánchez states that “This initiative further strengthens our efforts to develop a coordinated network of community-based services and recovery supports that build upon the strengths and resiliency of individuals, families and communities.”
We are proud to welcome our Fall 2019/Spring 2020 Social Work Intern class representing the City University of New York – Hunter College, Columbia University, and New York University. This intern class has been fully integrated, seeing patients weekly, facilitating groups in both the Mental Health and Substance Use programs and assisting with compliance initiatives.
National Crime Victims’ Rights Week
BPC staff attended the Annual National Crime Victims’ Rights Week celebration on April 10, 2019, at Queens Borough Hall in Kew Gardens. The event was sponsored by Queens District Attorney, Richard A. Brown and Queens Borough President, Melinda Katz. We are reminded that victims of crime and their loved ones need the support of services that can help them to work through the physical, emotional, and financial impacts of these acts. BPC provided resources and information to families and loved ones who were impacted by crime across the city.
NYS Office of Mental Health Operating Certificate
Message from BPC’s Executive Director, Steven Helfand, PsyD:
It is with much thanks and pride that I announce that Bleuler Psychotherapy Center, Inc. received official recertification as an Article 31 Outpatient Clinic Treatment Program from the NYS State Office of Mental Health. The certification is in effect from April 1, 2019 through March 31, 2022.
The OMH audit team spent their time reviewing patient and personnel files, policies, as well as interviewing our staff and patients, and inspecting the physical plant.
Thank you to each of you who played a direct and indirect yet equally important part in the success of this recertification review that found substantial compliance with applicable regulations and requirements resulting in the maximum three year certification. This certification was dependent on everyone to include; our front office team, administrative support team, billing team, clinicians, psychiatrists, clinical supervisors, directors, management team and our contracted compliance and legal partners.
This is an exciting time as we move towards more outcome driven care and access to clinical service reports to evolve our services and maintain compliance.
Onward and Upward!
Consumer Advisory Group
BPC’s Consumer Advisory Group met on April 1, 2019 for the first quarterly meeting of the year. The Consumer Advisory Group is made up of BPC patients and serves the purpose of obtaining feedback about their experiences at the center. This feedback includes quality of services, efficiency of programs, physical plant, and suggestions for improvement. The group is facilitated by Clinical Supervisor, Dr. Leonard Tuzman. At this most recent meeting, consumers shared their compliments about the courtesy and efficiency of the reception and front desk staff. The new text and phone call reminder system was noted as being helpful to most. Suggestions were made for improvements of the waiting area as well as creating a new group for Caregivers coping with family members with various illnesses.
Bard High School Early College Queens’ Mental Health Fair & Symposium
On March 20, 2019, staff from BPC took part in Bard High School Early College Queens’ Mental Health Fair & Symposium. Dr. Sasha Soon, Director of Intake & Community Relations, facilitated a discussion after the film “Mind/Game: The Unquiet Journey of Chamique Holdsclaw,” where students were able to talk about their experiences with mental illness, symptoms, prognosis, and treatment.
Phase One of Renovations Complete
In early March 2019, the first part of our third floor renovations was completed with the staff of Bleuler Chemical Dependency Recovery Services (BCD) settling into their space. We project that phase two will be completed by the end of May 2019 and will provide at least five new treatment rooms coming on line to provide quality rapid engagement to behavioral health care. Once completed, the third floor will be utilized to provide services for both the Mental Health and Chemical Dependency programs as well as serve as a space for staff trainings and community workshops. The date of the official ribbon cutting will be announced shortly.
BPC is pleased to have created a Safety / Maintenance Associate position as we strive to create and maintain a clean and welcoming environment. Your feedback is valuable to us we seek to improve our care environment.
BPC is proud to welcome our 2018-2019 class of 5 Masters Program interns from Columbia University, Hunter College, and New York University to provide additional support to individual and group programming.
Renovations to our BCD Program
Renovations to our BCD program and BPC program on the 3rd floor are underway with a completion date hoped for prior to the end of February. Our new space will offer a welcome and streamlined waiting room with options for counter or traditional seating. Treatment rooms will be furnished with comfortable chairs and the space will include built in white noise for optimal privacy. Below are pictures of the final space.
Staff Appreciation BBQ
On August 5, 2018 we celebrated the BPC staff at our first summer event offsite at Flushing Meadow park in Queens. We had a great turn out and everyone enjoyed the great food, games, and company. We look forward to more events like this where we can show our appreciation for the dedication and hard work our staff does on a daily basis.
Groups at BPC this Summer
Exterior renovations are completed. Interior renovations to begin in Summer 2018
Now interviewing for Fall 2018 – Spring 2019 internship class
New Groups at Bleuler this Spring
Exterior renovations are almost completed. Interior renovations to begin in Spring 2018
At Bleuler we take patient feedback seriously…
At Bleuler we take patient feedback seriously and strive to create a clean and comfortable environment for all who utilize our services. We have recently updated our waiting room with new chairs and signage and welcome you to share your thoughts with us about any additional changes you would like to see. Please feel free to speak with anyone from our Front Office or Leadership team about your thoughts.