TO CANCEL YOUR APPOINTMENT, CALL 215-823-4014.
Extended Hours are offered:
Monday and Thursday evenings, 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. and
Saturdays, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
The mental health service at Philadelphia VA Medical Center provides consultation, evaluation, and treatment for a variety of issues that can impact emotional well-being.The Mental Health Clinic staff provides evaluation and treatment services for veterans. Psychiatrists, advance practice nurses, psychologists, licensed social workers, and counselors staff the Mental Health Clinic. A variety of treatments are used, including medications and therapy/counseling. The goal of all treatment in the Mental Health Clinic is to alleviate symptoms, to improve patients' lives, and to improve their relationships with their families and communities.
We conduct research and training to ensure state-of-the-art treatment.
The Mental Health Clinic is located on the 7th floor of Building 2, the Clinical Addition, room 7A138.
The Central Intake Unit (CIU)
When you come to the clinic to enroll for treatment, a staff member will see you and will arrange an intake appointment as soon as possible. During the intake interview, a staff member will ask you questions not only about your current problem, but also about previous treatment, medical problems, your life history, and other areas of concern. Once the intake appointment is done, your follow-up treatment will be based on your needs. Treatment usually includes an assignment to a psychiatrist but it may also include referrals to one of our specialized programs.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Program
Some patients have problems related to specific traumas that they have experienced. These traumas are not necessarily caused by combat. There are programs for patients with PTSD available in the MHC; ask your doctor or therapist about these.
Substance Abuse Program (Addictions Recovery Unit)
Patients who have problems with substance abuse often have problems with other psychiatric disorders as well, such as depression, anxiety, or schizophrenia. Your doctor may be able to help with medications, but often group therapy that focuses on addiction recovery is also recommended. Group therapy sessions are offered several times a week. Ask about available groups.
Primary Care Clinic
One of the goals of the VA is to ensure that patients receive primary care.
(Primary care refers to general treatment of medical problems, such as high blood pressure.) There is a primary care clinic that is located in the MHC, which means that your psychiatric care and primary care take place in the same location. If you do not have a primary care provider, we will arrange for you to have one in the primary care clinic of the MHC.
Homeless Outreach Service
Homeless veterans are seen in our clinic and will be referred to a member of our Homeless Outreach Service. He or she will help the homeless find shelter and then assist with finding more permanent housing. We will continue to provide services in the MHC and the primary care clinic.
You and your doctor will decide if you should see a therapist in addition to the psychiatrist. Our licensed professional therapist are psychologists, social workers and clinical nurse specialists. Talk therapy is also known as psychotherapy and is offered for a variety of problems. Therapy can help you to resolve personal crisis, relationship problems, and to help you to adjust to stressful life events. Talk therapy is an active, time limited service that enables you to resolve issues and move on with your life. Your therapist may recommend individual (1:1) sessions, or group therapy sessions may be offered. Most therapy appointments are 25 min or 50 minutes, and are scheduled every few weeks or once a month.
The MHC is proud to offer a variety of specialized group therapy programs for our veterans. Each time limited group therapy is designed to meet your individual needs. If you are interested in a group therapy program, please speak with your psychiatrist or your therapist. All group therapy programs are conducted by our licensed professional staff. Most group therapy sessions are 60 minutes or longer.
Family Education Programs
Family and significant other psycho-educational programs are frequently offered to our veterans and their family members. The goal of these programs is to help family members to learn about specific mental illnesses such as PTSD, addiction, or other mental illnesses. Please speak to your psychiatrist or therapist if you are interesteded in inviting your family members to attend these sessions.
A pharmacist is on staff in the MHC. The pharmacist can help answer your questions about your medications.
Mental health services are confidential. We will not talk to anyone about information you share unless you give written consent. Under federal law, a few exceptions to this rule exist. If you have questions, please ask your mental health consultant.