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Alameda Health System Department of Psychiatry


Outpatient Behavioral Health Services

Area Served: Alameda County of Northern California
Population Served: Those who are struggling with severe and persistent mental illnesses


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Reducing inpatient admission

This program we have created fills a void in the continuum of care for SPMI patients who complete IOP. Because IOP has a short length of stay, many SPMI patients completing treatment remain symptomatic. Sending them back into the community with only doctor visits and individual therapy isn't enough for many. The Wellness Program allows patients to remain connected to the clinic which allows us to monitor patients more closely versus not at all when they are in the community seeing other providers. If a patient starts to have increased symptoms, we will see it right away and are able to move them back to IOP or PHP if needed thereby avoiding the hospital. In the past, patients would have to decompensate and go to the hospital in order to get back into PHP and then IOP. This program helps patients avoid the hospital unless absolutely necessary.

Our outcomes have demonstrated great success. Less than 5% of the patients in the Wellness Program needed inpatient stabilization over the last 18 months. All others who needed more support were moved to PHP or IOP successfully avoiding the hospital.

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Brief Program Description

The outpatient Wellness Program is a step-down program from IOP that allows patients to remain connected to services. The Wellness Program provides two therapy groups per day plus an afternoon psycho-ed group activity like Wrap. Patients generally come once or twice a week. This is a hybrid day outpatient wellness program that supports patients with severe and persistent mental illness.