ICL East New York Health Hub. Photo: Supplied.

Nonprofit health care provider Institute for Community Living has been awarded $1.4 million to support whole health care services in East New York, Brownsville, Cypress Hills, Ocean Hill, and Bedford-Stuyvesant, with a focus on Latinx communities and veterans.

The grant was awarded by United States Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to provide culturally and linguistically responsive home-based mental health treatment and recovery services for older adults with mental health illness.

Institute for Community Living, which serves more than 15,000 New Yorkers each year, runs the Project Older Adult Recovery Supports (OARS) program to address longstanding inequities in care that have been exacerbated by the pandemic by identifying, re-engaging, and bringing older adults with significant mental health and substance use disorders to community mental health services, the organization said in a statement.

ICL said it would use the new OARS grant funding to deliver flexible, in-home and trauma-informed outreach, treatment, and peer support services to seniors with mental health challenges who have faced barriers to adequate services during the pandemic.  

The OARS team, which includes a registered nurse, mental health clinicians and peer specialists, will facilitate access to telehealth that connects clients with clinic-based psychiatrists, primary care physicians, and off-site social services; provide in-home/outpatient treatment; psychosocial rehabilitation and intensive case management; and peer supports.

“The pandemic has made it extremely difficult for older adults, many of whom were already struggling with mental health issues, to access the services they need to live happy, healthy lives,” Jody Rudin, President & CEO of ICL, said.

She added that the grant would allow the organization to build on the work it was doing  at the East New York Health Hub and “better deliver services that meet the whole health needs of older adults, particularly in Hispanic/Latinx communities, in Brooklyn neighborhoods that have been devastated by the pandemic.”

The grant will focus on the neighborhoods around ICL’s East New York Health Hub, which opened in October 2018. The 40,000-square-foot, $30 million health and community center on the border of East New York and Brownsville takes a holistic approach to tackling long-standing health disparities, ICL said.

The grant is the second ICL has been given from SAMHSA in the last few months. In May, ICL was one of 10 organizations in New York State to be awarded $2.2 million from SAMHSA as a Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic.

Pamela Mattel, Chief Operating Officer of ICL, the latest grant would allow ICL to build on its whole health model “and better integrate what matters most to the Hispanic/Latinx community and ensure that they are part of the care delivery design.”

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Anna Bradley-Smith

Anna Bradley-Smith is Brooklyn-based reporter with bylines in NBC, VICE, Slate and others. Follow her on Twitter @annabradsmith.

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