In the East Harlem neighborhood of New York City, residents without access to health insurance are receiving free outpatient mental health care, thanks to an innovative project at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Part of Mount Sinai’s East Harlem Health Outreach Partnership (EHHOP), the student-run clinic offers no-cost, evidence-based mental and behavioral health treatments to patients in need.
Mount Sinai experts created the program from scratch more than a decade ago to meet the needs of the local population. “There was no model for this,” said Craig Katz, MD, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Medical Education, and System Design and Global Health at the Icahn School of Medicine and Faculty Director of EHHOP’s mental health clinic.
In 2021, the clinic served 75 patients, treating them on an outpatient basis for conditions such as anxiety, depression, and alcohol use disorder. Patients, medical students, and psychiatric residents are all benefiting from the program. As the clinic grows, it also serves as a model for other student-run health clinics to follow as they address the mental health needs of uninsured and underinsured communities.