Services by Evergreen Health Services of Western New York

 

 

Center for Behavioral Health

This Center provides critical supportive and health promotion services including mental health and substance abuse assistance, HIV/STI/Hepatitis C screening, risk reduction programs and health education.

Mental Health Services: Mental health assessment and linkage to treatment is often an essential component in responding successfully to a life-threatening or chronic illness. Our mental health providers work with individuals to develop trusting relationships through short-term counseling, linking them to long-term treatment if necessary for clinical issues. Evergreen Health Services is fortunate to have a licensed, on-site, mental health clinic operated by Spectrum Human Services that helps make the transition to more intensive mental health services less threatening for the consumer. Spectrum also provides support to Association direct care staff to improve the effectiveness of interventions.

Substance Use Assistance: Staff provide treatment assessment, linkage to substance abuse treatment facilities, overdose prevention and transmission education. Professional Harm Reduction Counselors develop a rapport with substance users, educating them in the relationship between risky behavior and transmission of disease. Counselors assess the readiness of individuals to enter treatment, provide information to address their health, wellness and daily living needs, and link patients to appropriate treatment facilities. The opiate overdose prevention program trains consumers on the use of a NARCAN injection kit to reverse the effects of a lethal overdose. Over one-hundred individuals have been revived from lethal drug overdoses as a result of this proactive educational and intervention program.

Syringe Exchange: The Syringe Exchange Program provides a one-to-one exchange of used syringes for clean ones to individuals who inject any substance including insulin, steroids, heroin, cocaine and other street drugs. The program allows for the safe disposal of used syringes and harm reduction supplies (cotton, caps, alcohol wipes, etc.). This program is instrumental in reducing the transference of blood-borne illness between IV drug users, including HIV and Hepatitis C. Its success can be measured in the reduction in HIV infections among users, from sixty percent in the 1990s to eight percent today. In 2010, over 320,000 syringes were exchanged by 3,000 individuals, with this program being the largest of its kind outside New York City, and one of the most comprehensive syringe exchange programs in the country.

HIV/STI/Hepatitis C Testing: This program offers free, confidential, 10-minute rapid HIV tests as well as syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia and hepatitis C screening. The services are available on a walk-in basis with no appointment necessary Monday through Friday with evening hours once a week. Click here for more information.

Wellness Center: In informal focus groups, consumers described the lack of a "safe place" for them in the community. This prompted Evergreen Health Services to develop a Wellness Center to address this unmet need. The Wellness Center offers various group therapies, including art therapy, mental health groups and substance use groups. Consumers have access to a skilled Wellness Counselor to address any concerns and to provide individual and group psychosocial and health education interventions. Congregate dining is available, serving between 25-60 lunches daily, Monday-Friday. This low-stress environment allows individuals challenged by chronic illness or social isolation to talk about the issues that they are dealing with, without prejudice or judgment. Whether it's domestic violence, addiction or living on the streets, this commonality creates a sense of community within the Wellness Center. Since its inception in 2010, the Wellness Center has enrolled over 500 participants.