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Team 119: Mental Health Services

“You are not alone.”  That statement remains a powerful message to anyone that is affected by HIV and AIDS.  Counseling and support groups have been a part of GMHC’s services since the early years of the epidemic.  Oftentimes when people living with HIV/AIDS arrive at GMHC, they are dealing with so many crises.  Problems may feel insurmountable.  An opportunity to talk with a therapist or others living with HIV/AIDS in a support group can bring encouragement to solve problems, while feeling a part of a community that understands.  Over the years, our counseling work has expanded to develop Team 119 (named after our building’s address).
 Team 119 offers free short- and long-term psychotherapy and substance-use counseling to adults living with HIV/AIDS, regardless of age, gender, race, or sexual orientation. We work with clients on a diverse range of issues including, but not limited to: anxiety, depression, history of abuse and trauma, alcohol and substance use, compulsive sexual behavior, grief and loss, and relationship problems. Team 119 creates a supportive relationship with the client, therapist and other services providers. As a team, they coordinate care to impact the client’s overall mental health and well-being.

Here are answers to frequently-asked questions:

If I seek counseling does it mean that I am weak or crazy? Absolutely not! It takes courage and emotional insight to know when to ask for help, and it takes strength and commitment to make the necessary changes to improve your life.

What is Mental Health Counseling? In counseling and psychotherapy sessions, a client and therapist discuss the thoughts, behaviors, wishes, and feelings with the goal of clarifying and reducing emotional suffering, and improving relationships and overall well-being.

What is Substance Use Counseling? We provide support and education to clients who struggle with drug and alcohol use. If clients choose to make changes in their use, we can offer them the tools to do so effectively..

What is Creative Arts Therapy? We integrate human development, visual art (drawing, painting, sculpture, drama, dance and other art forms), and the creative process with models of counseling and psychotherapy. The creative process involved in artistic self-expression helps people to resolve conflicts and problems, develop interpersonal skills, manage behavior, reduce stress, increase self-esteem and self-awareness, and achieve insight.

What are Group Services?
  Support groups are an effective way for many of our clients to address a multitude of emotional issues in affirming and supportive spaces to improve their quality of life. The group format provides a range of relationships to help with an individual’s growth and problem-solving. Group members benefit not only from the group facilitators but quite significantly from the dynamics and expertise of fellow group members. The support groups run on spring, summer, fall and winter cycles. This includes groups to reduce isolation and stigma, develop healthy relationships, enhance coping with stress and anxiety, examine impact of drug and alcohol use, support sobriety, and adjusting to life with HIV.  Current groups include: Newly Diagnosed, Long Term Survivors, Young and Poz, The Social (social anxiety), The After Party (Harm Reduction), Sober Living, Depression & Anxiety, Visually Impaired Group, and others.

What are Individual Services?
We provide short- and long-term individual therapy in the following areas: mental-health, substance-use and treatment adherence. We provide family counseling-- whether biological or ofchoice,to address a wide range of issues such as disclosure of HIV status, loss, parenting skills and effective communication. We have couple counseling which is offered to couples who have been together for at least 1 year to addressiIssues including healthy communication, trust, behavior change, and discordant HIV status (couples in which one person is HIV-positive and the other is HIV-negative). The  Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner (PNP) on staff conducts psychiatric assessments, provides mental health counseling, and coordinates client referrals for medication -management and other general psychiatric care.

What is Mental Health Case Management? Case Managers assesses needs and actively makes referrals that can be helpful in a client’s remaining connected to services and engaged in mental health care. We help   clients improve self-sufficiency and effectively manage stress, time, finances, and emotions. We also have educational and supportive services that help clients learn the necessary skills to navigate through the process of finding housing and maintaining a healthy home in New York City.

For more information regarding mental health services, call us at 212.367.1165 or email


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