Health Department Awards Its First Grants to Support Mental Health Services For People Living With HIV

ALBANY, N.Y. (Feb. 7, 2008) – The New York State Department of Health has awarded grants totaling $4.4 million to 20 health and research organizations as part of a new initiative to provide direct mental health services for persons living with HIV.

"There is a great need for coordinated and integrated care among organizations providing HIV/AIDS, mental health, and substance abuse services," said State Health Commissioner Richard F. Daines, M.D. "These awards demonstrate our commitment to the treatment of those struggling with a triple diagnosis of HIV infection, mental illness and addiction. We encourage our grantees in this important work to ensure that these essential services are available to those who need them most."

Some people with HIV/AIDS are diagnosed with mental health disorders after they learn they have HIV. They may deal with anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorders and depression associated with the challenges and difficulties of being HIV-positive. Other people may have had a mental illness before being diagnosed with HIV. People with HIV/AIDS and mental illness are less likely to seek health and mental health care or adhere to their medication regimen, and may be dealing with drug and alcohol use. Mental illness may affect a person's willingness to disclose his or her HIV status and may exacerbate risk behaviors that raise the odds of transmitting their disease.

"Care for HIV-infected patients with mental health disorders should be a collaborative effort involving patients, primary care clinicians, and mental health providers" said AIDS Institute Director Humberto Cruz. "When necessary, case managers, substance use counselors, relatives, pharmacies, insurance companies, and domestic violence service providers should also be involved."

In 2005, more than 10,000 Medicaid-eligible New Yorkers with HIV/AIDS had claims related to severe mental illness. Through all AIDS Institute service contracts, more than 9,000 persons living with HIV/AIDS received mental health services in 2005. From 2001 to 2006, contractors provided psychiatric services to more than 3,000 individuals and psychological therapy to almost 4,700 individuals.

Eighteen grant recipients were selected based on their ability to provide a range of mental health services to persons with HIV/AIDS. In addition, two organizations will receive funding to support training and technical assistance to providers in the treatment and medical management of individuals with mental illness and HIV infection.

The awards have been made to the following organizations:

A. Integrated Mental Health Services for Persons with HIV/AIDS
OrganizationRegionAward *
Women and Children's Hospital of Kaleida HealthWestern NY$150,000
Anthony Jordan Health CenterFinger Lakes$250,000
SUNY Upstate Medical CenterCentral NY$225,000
Albany Medical CollegeNortheastern NY$250,000
Mount Vernon Neighborhood Health CenterHudson Valley$225,000
Institute for Family HealthHudson Valley and Bronx$225,000
North Shore University HospitalLong Island$150,000
Federation Employment and Guidance ServicesLong Island$150,000
Bronx Lebanon Hospital CenterBronx$325,000
Montefiore Medical Center AIDS CenterBronx$200,000
AIDS Center of Queens CountyQueens$200,000
NY Presbyterian HospitalNYC-wide$350,000
Harlem United Community Health CenterNYC-wide$300,000
NYCHHC, Bellevue Hospital CenterNYC-wide$200,000
Mount Sinai Adolescent Health CenterNYC-wide$200,000
NYCHHC, Harlem HospitalNYC-wide$200,000
St. Vincent's Catholic Medical CenterNYC-wide$175,000
Union Settlement AssociationNYC-wide$125,000
B. Training and Technical Assistance
OrganizationRegionAward *
Research Foundation for Mental Hygiene - Columbia UniversityStatewide$292,100
Cicatelli Associates Inc.Statewide$200,000

* Award amounts are approximate and subject to negotiation of final budgets.