NEW YORK, July 12, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Having the ability to see is something many of us take for granted. However, for the millions of people who are blind or have vision loss, the psychological impact of being visually impaired can be devastating. Lighthouse Guild, the leading not-for-profit vision and healthcare organization, recognizes the need to provide specialized mental health services to people with visual impairment. Lighthouse Guild, based in New York, is one of the only facilities in the country to offer a Behavioral Health Program with a staff of psychiatrists, psychologists, clinical social workers, creative art therapists and other health care professionals trained to address the particular needs of adults and children with vision loss or blindness.
Whether a person has had blindness or vision loss since childhood, has had a traumatic brain injury, stroke, cancer or other health issue that has caused visual impairment, or has a diagnosis of diabetes, glaucoma, macular degeneration or another disorder that can lead to visual impairment, Lighthouse Guild's Behavioral Health Program, offers individualized services to help cope with psychological issues.
The program offers a comprehensive array of therapeutic services in both clinical and day treatment settings. Psychotherapy, psychiatry and psychopharmacology, psychological and neuropsychological testing, are cornerstones of the clinical program. The program is focused on providing psychological services that can help people improve health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and reach their full potential, reducing psychiatric and medical hospitalizations and emergency room visits.
"The psychological effects of vision loss can be overwhelming and different for each individual," remarked Dr. Goldie Dersh, Vice President of Lighthouse Guild Behavioral Health Services. "Depending on the reason for the loss of vision, emotional stress can lead to psychosocial problems that can make daily life increasingly difficult and challenging. Our goal is to help people lead fulfilling, independent and productive lives."
Lighthouse Guild's Behavioral Health Program offers a full spectrum of therapeutic services for individuals with mental health conditions. Behavioral Health professionals from the day treatment program collaborate and visit community programs and group residencies to simplify access to mental health care. The program also provides group and individual therapy and operates a 24-hour crisis call line for our patients. The Behavioral Health team works in close collaboration with the individual's primary care provider and on-site specialists including optometry, endocrinology, neurology and rehabilitation to ensure that care is coordinated and integrated.
"We know that mental health services are a foundation of good healthcare," said Dr. Alan R. Morse, President and CEO of Lighthouse Guild. "But, unfortunately, we also know that there is still a stigma attached to acknowledging the need for mental health services. We want people with visual impairment who are dealing with mental health issues to get to know that our Behavioral Health Program is here to help them."
Lighthouse Guild's Behavioral Health Program is licensed by the New York State Office of Mental Health, serves patients in the five-boroughs of New York City and accepts Medicaid, Medicare and a wide range of insurance plans. With easily accessible facilities on the Upper West Side of Manhattan and in the Midwood section of Brooklyn, the Behavioral Health Program treats approximately 500 patients each year, most of whom have visual impairment. The program is open to all individuals seeking behavioral health services.
About Lighthouse Guild
Lighthouse Guild is the leading not-for-profit vision and healthcare organization with a long history of addressing the needs of people who are blind or visually impaired, including those with multiple disabilities or chronic medical conditions. With more than 200 years of experience and service, Lighthouse Guild brings a level of understanding to vision care that is unmatched. By integrating vision and healthcare services and expanding access through its programs and education and awareness, we help people lead productive, dignified and fulfilling lives.
For more information: LighthouseGuild.org.
SOURCE Lighthouse Guild