Challenges and Solutions: Mental Health Responses During COVID-19

During the most challenging times, even in the face of an unprecedented crisis — The Institute for Community Living (ICL) seeks to implement strengths-based approaches to helping people cope and eventually to thrive once again. This holds true whether a person is living with a childhood trauma,...

Helping Vulnerable Populations During COVID-19: Challenges of Mitigation in Congregate Residential Settings

In New York City, tens of thousands of people with serious mental illness or developmental disabilities live in congregate housing or homeless shelters. For behavioral health agencies like the Institute for Community Living (ICL), the COVID-19 pandemic has presented an urgent challenge: With over...

Investing in Whole Person Care in Supported Housing: Improving Health, Enhancing Recovery

At ICL, we offer a range of housing opportunities for people with serious mental illness – people who have been homeless, living in a shelter or on the streets, with long histories of mental health and substance use issues; some with HIV/AIDS; many from prison, state hospitals and adult homes....

Integrating Health and Behavioral Health: Consider All the Dimensions

A discussion of integrated care should actually start by redefining the term itself. Integrated care is commonly considered the weaving together of physical and behavioral health, but experience has shown that this definition limits the discussion to two dimensions. What dimension is missing? What...

Integrating Primary Care into Assertive Community Treatment

The great health disparities and poor health outcomes experienced by people with serious mental illness are even more significant for the people served by Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) teams. Individuals are eligible for ACT services if they have been hospitalized more than four times in the...

An Effective Work Force Embraces and Drives Integrated Care

The behavioral health sector has been in the throes of a generational change over the past decade, one that has challenged the very way we offer treatment, organize operations and receive funding for our services. Our agencies have worked hard to adapt to these changes while maintaining the...

Aging Through a Strengths-Based Lens: Dreaming Big, Living Longer

Nearly 50 million Americans are over the age of 65; by 2030, that number will surpass 70 million and account for about 20% of the population. While for some, late adulthood can be a time of great fulfillment, for many, our culture’s emphasis on youth and a fast-paced life leads to a declining...

Collaborating to Improve Children’s Health Care: The Time is Now

In 2015, New York State’s Medicaid Redesign Team (MRT) issued a “Roadmap for Medicaid Payment Reform” that laid out a path for dramatic and innovative change in the way the state financed and administered healthcare. Initially, MRT took on a volume-based approach to health care through the...

The East New York Health Hub: Realizing the Promise of Whole Health

Over the last few decades, there has been an increasing focus on health care reform and bending the cost curve through a combination of new approaches including social determinants of health, trauma-informed treatment, health equity, patient engagement and integrated care. While these elements have...

Social Isolation: A Solution-Focused Approach

Doris has been living in her studio apartment in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn for the past 15 years. She obtained this apartment after finding herself homeless following the breakup of her marriage and other stressors she was experiencing. Doris is quite humble as she describes how her...