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Guidance for NYSDOH AIDS Institute Mental Health Programs

Various regional and statewide HIV needs assessments have identified mental health as a priority service need. Also noted was the lack of coordinated care among the HIV, mental health and substance use service delivery systems.

In an attempt to address this need, the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) AIDS Institute targeted federal funding to increase and enhance access to mental health service. To address the need for coordinated care, emphasis was placed on the integration and co-location of mental health services with HIV primary care and substance use treatment. Service delivery models vary among funded programs, depending upon the targeted population.

A statewide workgroup comprised of NYSDOH AIDS Institute staff and clinical experts in the fields of mental health, HIV/AIDS and substance use, developed a set of standards to guide the NYSDOH AIDS Institute funded programs in the provision of quality mental health care.

All NYSDOH AIDS Institute funded programs that provide mental health services are required to follow these mental health standards of care.

The Mental Health Standards of Care support the following principles:

  • Programs must promote best practices in mental health and HIV care that facilitate retention in mental health and primary care and increase medical and psychiatric treatment adherence;
  • A continuum of mental health services is necessary to address the full range of conditions among people living with HIV/AIDS;
  • The mental health service continuum includes evaluation and a comprehensive care plan that addresses individual needs, coexisting disorders, treatment and support;
  • Programs must demonstrate how science and evidence based practice is incorporated into their services to assist clients in achieving their desired goals of emotional health and wellness;
  • Programs must be culturally and linguistically appropriate; and
  • Services need to be delivered in a manner that is client-centered and bridges HIV/AIDS, mental health and substance use services.

These Standards address the following domains:

  • Access to Care
  • Delivery of Care
  • Mental Health Staffing
  • Coordination of Care
  • Quality Improvement