LONG BRANCH – When major changes or catastrophic life events occur, those with mental illnesses are more susceptible and vulnerable to experiencing crises.
In an effort to provide individuals suffering from significant emotional or psychiatric distress with an additional option for treatment, Monmouth Medical Center has expanded its outpatient behavioral health services to include an Early Intervention Support Services program (EISS).
Licensed by the state Division of Mental Health Services, the EISS program is designed to provide up to 30 days of outpatient behavioral health treatment for Monmouth County adults older than 18 who have serious mental illness and are at risk of needing hospital services.
“EISS bridges the gap for patients with mental illness who may have stopped treatment, have begun experiencing difficulties and are having a hard time reconnecting with outpatient services,” said Stephen Theccanat, M.D., FAPA, medical director of outpatient behavioral health and chairman, Department of Psychiatry, Monmouth Medical Center. “Frequently these patients end up hospitalized after they exhibit further deterioration and decline. By providing this step, we can break the cycle and keep patients functioning at their maximum level.”
The goal of the program is to provide individuals with a timely alternative to emergency-room crisis units. For patients who have already been evaluated by a crisis unit, EISS is able to provide treatment so that inpatient psychiatric treatment and hospitalization can be avoided.
Within 24 hours of referral to EISS, patients will meet with a licensed social worker. Patients will also meet with an advanced practice nurse within 48 hours for medication evaluation.
Additionally, the EISS treatment team includes two case managers to help patients access community resources, a registered nurse to help assess medical issues and provide counseling and a peer recovery specialist to help navigate the mental health system and develop a wellness plan.
Team members work closely with families and have regular contact with social service organizations that support clients’ needs. EISS services also include individual and group psychotherapy.
Patients can be seen on-site at the new EISS facility in Neptune, but the program is mobile as well. Staff will meet clients where they are located and a staff member is available 24 hours a day by phone for emergencies or referrals.
For more information on the EISS program, call 732-922-1042. For more information on any of the inpatient or outpatient programs and services in the Barnabas Health Behavioral Health Network or to make a referral, call 800-300-0628.