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Scope of Services

Mental health services for persons living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHAs) must be a part of an integrated system of care which includes, at a minimum, clinical care (HIV and mental health), case management, and if indicated, substance use treatment. Services throughout the continuum of care should be culturally appropriate and delivered in a manner that reduces stigmatization and promotes self-respect and personal dignity.

An HIV mental health program must have at a minimum of the following services available on site:

  • Psychosocial Assessment
  • Treatment Planning
  • Psychotherapeutic services (Individual, Family and Group)
  • Psychiatric services (psychiatric and medication evaluation, monitoring and follow-up)
  • Clinical supervision
  • Care Coordination (to support mental health and medical treatment retention)
  • Crisis Intervention

The full continuum of mental health services includes:

  • Initial Screening and Referral (screening may be conducted by nonprofessional staff)
  • Psychosocial Assessment (must be conducted by a mental health professional and demonstrate the appropriateness of the referral, the need for treatment and the appropriate setting for the delivery of service. It serves as the basis for the treatment plan)
  • Psychological testing
  • Treatment planning (based on psychiatric diagnosis)
  • Psychiatric services (psychiatric services include medication assessment and management by a psychiatrist or psychiatric nurse practitioner)
  • Psychotherapeutic services (individual, group and/or family)
  • Crisis Intervention
  • Psychiatric rehabilitation
  • Care Coordination (clients who receive mental health services must have access to staff who are responsible for coordinating mental health, primary care, substance use treatment if indicated, and other appropriate services. These services must support mental health and medical treatment retention.)
  • Inpatient services
  • Clinical Supervision

Psychosocial supportive services may also be provided as part of a comprehensive mental health program if they improve medical outcomes by facilitating client retention in mental health and primary care. These services may include the provision of non-clinical support groups designed to improve clinical outcomes, bereavement counseling, crisis intervention, harm reduction, health education, motivational counseling and recovery readiness services.