Overcoming the Stigma of Mental Illness: Peers Play a Critical Role

Sharing a lived experience may be the single most important tool we have to address the stigma of living with a mental illness, and the isolation of COVID only exacerbated how important it can be to have someone to talk with who truly understands. Over the past two years, we all learned to keep a...

Navigating the Road to Recovery: An Art and a Science

Defining recovery is all-encompassing. It may be recovery from mental illness, substance use, trauma, losses and, as we’ve recently learned, from the effects of a pandemic. Most often it is thought about as a journey toward regaining something that was lost or returning to a former state. In...

Lessons of COVID-19: Staff Dedication and Skill Key to Success

The Institute for Community Living (ICL) compass shines brightly on our North Star: “People get better with us.” This simple yet profound message has given us meaning and purpose during unprecedented social upheaval. We know, empirically, that what matters most and keeps people in their job is...

Trauma-Informed Care: Children in Crisis

We know that most if not all of the people we serve at the Institute for Community Living (ICL) have experienced multiple traumas in the course of their lives. This is true for every ICL program, whether in behavioral health clinics and crisis services or housing for people living with mental...

Telehealth: Short and Long-Term Implications for Behavioral Health

Since the pandemic took hold just over a year ago, behavioral health entities had to adjust almost overnight to virtual care to ensure that services were not interrupted, especially for our most vulnerable populations. For many of these clients, in addition to the help they receive for their mental...

The East New York Health Hub: A Model for Addressing Social Determinants of Health

By definition and mission, non-profit human services organizations have been addressing the social determinants of health for over a century1 and have long understood the impact these factors have on health (mental and physical). Until about a decade ago, however, these same providers were not a...

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 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...