Expanding Nathaniel Clinic Emergency Telehealth
July 6, 2020
The global coronavirus has brought uncertainty and anxiety into people’s lives, workplaces, and neighborhoods, particularly for those who work to improve the health of our communities.
During this difficult time, many organizations across New York State are working tirelessly to keep people safe, especially the most vulnerable. In response, NYHealth is supporting statewide and local efforts to address emerging health care and public health needs in the wake of the pandemic. In 2020, NYHealth awarded the Center for Alternative Sentencing and Employment Services (CASES) a grant to expand and sustain primary care and behavioral health telehealth services for criminal justice-involved youth and adults with mental illness, including individuals recently released as a result of the pandemic.
Under this grant, CASES ensured access and engagement in telemental health services among criminal justice-involved youth and adults, as well as developed policies and procedures for distributing video-capable phones with unlimited data plans. It connected clients to Nathaniel Clinic peer staff for continued support and care. CASES also monitored and evaluated service utilization, retention, satisfaction, and experience with the telehealth services. These services encouraged engagement among justice-involved Black and Latinx males and addressed widening gaps in access to mental health treatment exacerbated by shelter-in-place and social distancing protocols resulting from COVID-19.