FLUSHING,NY, September 27, 2013– Since it opened on campus three years ago, the Queens College Psychological Center has been helping community members struggling with depression, anxiety, and the stresses of daily life. Under the leadership of director Dr. Yvette Caro, the clinic welcomes those in need of compassionate and affordable mental health treatment. It is the first of its kind at QC to offer broad psychological services for community residents of all ages.
This community mental health service, which is a training and research center operated by the Ph.D. program in clinical psychology, offers counseling and psychotherapy for children, adolescents and adults. Students in the college’s Clinical Psychology: Neuropsychology doctoral program provide treatment to patients under the close supervision of experienced, licensed psychologists on the Queens College faculty.
“We really want to let people know that we’re here to serve them,” says Dr. Caro, a licensed clinical psychologist and resident of Jackson Heights. Dr. Caro previously worked more than 20 years at Bellevue Hospital Center, where she spent 14 years directing its bilingual treatment program. She has received numerous awards for her work, including the Association of Hispanic Mental Care Professionals Public Service Award, and has been recognized by the NYC Health and Hospitals Corporation for her commitment and excellent quality of community care.
“While our goal is to bring treatment programs based on extensive research to benefit the community directly, we’re also a safety net clinic. That means we want to reach people who are under-insured, under-employed, unemployed and undocumented,” says Dr. Caro. “There will always be people in need.” The clinic is especially sensitive to the reluctance of many immigrant communities in Queens to seek mental health services, she says. “The first step is the hardest—picking up the phone.”
Breaking through barriers is especially important when dealing with children. “A lot of immigrant families are concerned with having a child labeled,” she says. “We work closely with the schools, and do school visits when necessary.” Doctoral students and undergraduate volunteers also participate in community outreach, visiting schools and local housing projects to offer information about mental health.
The clinic offers psychotherapy and counseling services, as well as psychological evaluations and individual, group, family and couples psychotherapy. The center has also offered free adult and child psychotherapeutic groups in parent training, child social skills and adult interpersonal skills. All staff members strive to create a safe and trusting environment in which a variety of issues can be shared, explored and therapeutically addressed.
Among the problems the clinic can address are anxiety, depression, interpersonal/relational, grief and bereavement, coping with medical illness or disability, self-esteem and body image concerns, parenting issues and adjustment to changing life circumstances. For children, typical difficulties may include separation anxiety, school refusal, social anxiety, fears, phobias, social skills deficits, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), tantrums, aggression, depression, moodiness, impulsivity, defiance and disobedience.
Located in Razran Hall, Suite 140, 65-30 Kissena Boulevard, Flushing, NY the QCPC is usually open Monday through Friday from 9 am to 5 pm, with some appointments available after 5 PM. The clinic follows the Queens College calendar. There is an initial fee of $25 for all new applicants for psychotherapy or counseling services for the initial consultation, but the fee will be waived for those with serious financial difficulty. Fees for services will be on a sliding scale from zero to fifty dollars, taking into account personal and/or family income and circumstances. “Queens College has been wonderful,” says Dr. Caro. “People can come regardless of their ability to pay.”
Every effort will be made to identify resources to patients who require care outside the scope of the clinic’s practice. “If people call us, and the services needed are not appropriate for the clinic, we will refer them,” says Dr. Caro. “We’re committed to helping them access services.”
To find out more about the clinic’s services or to schedule an appointment, call 718-570-0500 or visit www.qc.cuny.edu/qcpc .
For more about Queens College visit http://www.qc.cuny.edu/Pages/default.aspx
Contact: Maria Matteo
Assistant Director of News Services