Family Services assures access to quality behavioral healthcare for adults in Dutchess and Ulster Counties and never before has the need for support been so great. Behavioral health disorders affect nearly one in five Americans (1) and the Covid 19 pandemic has increased demand for behavioral health services. A recent poll found that almost 50 percent of people reported that coronavirus had a negative effect on their mental health (2). The impact of untreated behavioral health needs on an individuals’ life and physical health is profound including increase in chronic health conditions, greater likelihood of emergency room treatment or hospitalization, and a decreased life expectancy (3). In 2020, Family Services impacted the lives of 5766 Individuals who received Behavioral Health Services.
Counseling and Medical staff utilize a variety of Research-Based Screening Tools and Evidence Based Practices in their work with clients including: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, and Interactive Journaling. We take a person-centered approach that tailors each treatment plan to the needs of the individual, informed by the results of a variety of research-based screening instruments including the GAD-7 for anxiety, PHQ-9 for depression, C-SSRS for risk of suicide, and the NIDA for identifying risky substance use.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) helps clients learn how they think, feel, and behave interact together. CBT is an effective treatment for a wide variety of mental illnesses, including depression, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, eating disorders and schizophrenia. Individuals who undergo CBT show changes in brain activity, suggesting that this therapy actually improves your brain functioning as well (4).
Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) has been shown to be effective in producing significant and long-lasting improvement suicidal individuals, clients with Borderline Personality Disorder and other behavioral health issues. It reduces the frequency and severity of dangerous behaviors such as self-injury and suicide attempts, increases distress tolerance and improves emotion regulation while emphasizing clients’ strengths. (4)
Motivational Interviewing is an evidence-based practice used primarily in substance use treatment. Rather than try to convince an individual to stop using substances, clinicians help clients explore a patient’s core values and life goals to determine whether substance abuse aligns with their concept of a positive, healthy life. Motivational Interviewing has been shown to be an effective treatment in stopping or preventing unhealthy substance use such as binge drinking and reducing the quantity and frequency of drinking, smoking and substance abuse. (5)
Interactive Journaling is a cognitive-behavioral model that combines therapeutic techniques with structured reflective writing. Through the development of personalized journals, clients develop a record of their commitments and progress in treatment and develop a roadmap for positive behavior change and has been found to be effective in reducing criminality and substance use behavior. (6)
Access to behavioral healthcare, especially when there is a reduction in social connectedness like we have seen throughout the pandemic, is key. Through a client survey, Family Services found that 89% of clients felt connected with their counseling or medical staff during telehealth sessions and 77% felt as if they were making progress on treatment goals through telehealth. In fact, 82% of clients like having telehealth as an option moving forward post pandemic.