Ellis Hospital Mental Health Services

Mental health is just as important as physical health, yet accessing quality treatment options can sometimes be difficult amidst a nationwide shortage of care providers and facilities

For those in the Schenectady area dealing with mental illness or addiction struggles, Ellis Hospital is an invaluable local resource.

Since opening its doors over a century ago, Ellis has prioritized mental healthcare and maintained a long legacy of helping the community’s most vulnerable residents. 

Today, its outpatient and inpatient psychiatric programs utilize evidence-based therapies and a compassionate, multi-disciplinary approach to healing.

This article provides an overview of Ellis Hospital mental health services. Let’s explore what conditions are treated here through both voluntary and emergency programs.


Ellis Hospital is a leading regional medical center located in Schenectady, New York.

It serves the five counties of Albany, Saratoga, Schenectady, Fulton, and Montgomery. 

As an acute care facility, Ellis provides emergency and inpatient medical, surgical, and psychiatric care. 

It is especially renowned for its work in cardiothoracic care, stroke treatment, and other specialized fields like orthopedics and neurology.

Mental health services are also a core part of Ellis’ offerings.

Cutting-edge technology is employed throughout the facilities as well. State-of-the-art imaging equipment and an advanced electronic health records system help support high-quality care. 

There is also a sizable intensive care unit for critical cases. Ellis further aims to make its lifesaving healthcare accessible by accepting most forms of insurance, including Medicaid. 

The facility’s services are open to adults as well as pediatric patients.

Let’s explore Ellis’ mental health services and how they are supporting the region’s wellness needs.

Ellis Hospital Mental Health Services [The Review]

ellis hospital
A view of Ellis Hospital on Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2022, in Schenectady, N.Y. (Paul Buckowski/Times Union)

Ellis Hospital has a long legacy of assisting both adults and young people dealing with mental health challenges. 

For over five decades, their team of specialists has supported community members in overcoming illness and crisis.

The psychiatric staff is multi-disciplinary, comprised of physicians, nurse practitioners, social workers, counselors and nurses.

All are properly licensed and certified in their fields of expertise relating to mental health.

Ellis works cooperatively with county and state agencies to both meet current needs, as well as develop new programs through collaboration. 

This ensures that a full continuum of integrated care remains available to people who are struggling with conditions impacting their well-being and daily lives.

Let’s take a closer look at the range of treatment and support services offered by Ellis’ experienced mental health professionals in their dedication to serving the local community.

Inpatient Care

Ellis Hospital operates an inpatient unit dedicated to providing mental health treatment for adults aged 18 and older who are experiencing psychiatric issues. 

The unit houses 36 beds to serve patients from the surrounding community, and patients are cared for by a highly trained team of mental health professionals

All mental health professionals work as a cohesive unit to address any immediate threats that may prevent an individual from living independently. 

These threats may include conditions such as severe depression, bipolar episodes, psychosis, or co-occurring substance misuse issues.

A variety of evidence-based treatment approaches are used during a patient’s stay, including individual therapy sessions, group activities, and arts and educational workshops

Care coordination with families and aftercare planning is a priority at Ellis Hospital. The focus is on facilitating a smooth transition from the inpatient setting to home or outpatient care. 

Crisis Intervention

Ellis Hospital also provides crisis response services for individuals experiencing acute mental health emergencies. 

Accessible through the Emergency Department and The Living Room at the State Street Mental Health Center, these services provide immediate response and support for mental health crises. 

The Emergency Department mental health crisis services operate 24/7 to evaluate, de-escalate, and treat any patients presenting with a psychiatric crisis.

Meanwhile, The Living Room, offered to individuals aged 18 and older, serves as a comforting alternative, and aims to divert appropriate cases from the emergency room when possible. 

Staffed by social workers, care managers, peers, and consulting medical providers, it offers a calming space for assessment, stabilization and connection to follow-up support.

Both services work to safely manage crises through supportive counseling, coping strategies, and stress reduction.

Access to these vital crisis intervention services is facilitated through the crisis information and referral hotline at 518.243.4000, ensuring assistance 24/7.

Outpatient Child and Adolescent Treatment

The outpatient child and adolescent treatment program at Ellis Medicine is dedicated to offering comprehensive and effective mental health services for individuals aged 4-18.

Their focus is on creating a nurturing, safe, and supportive environment for both patients and their families. 

Their services include initial psychiatric assessments, medication management, psychotherapy, crisis services for existing patients, and consultation for schools and agencies.

Additionally, the program emphasizes wellness planning to support the overall well-being of young individuals in their mental health journey. 

Furthermore, community education initiatives are undertaken to raise awareness and provide valuable insights into mental health issues affecting children and adolescents.

Want to know about mental health hospitals, check these out:

  1. Kaweah Health Mental Health Hospital
  2. UCLA Mental Health Hospital [Navigating Wellness and Support]
  3. Brylin Hospital Mental Health Service

Integrated Outpatient Services

Ellis Hospital offers outpatient mental health services fully integrated with primary care.

Their goal is to support clients in safely living and thriving right in their communities.

At the outpatient clinic, patients have on-site access to a primary care physician who works closely alongside other members of the treatment team. 

This includes psychiatrists, nurse practitioners, social workers and nurses. Through this integrated model of care, physical health needs are directly addressed in tandem with mental health. 

The primary care doctor monitors clients’ overall well-being and ensures any medical factors that could impact treatment are properly addressed.

A wide variety of primary care services are provided on-site to promote whole-person wellness. 

Patients can receive checkups, treatment for illnesses, immunizations, health screenings, diet and lifestyle counseling, and medical care for acute needs like sickness visits.

These services are available from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm on Wednesdays and Thursdays, contributing to the overall well-being of patients getting mental health support at Ellis Medicine.

Peer Advocacy Program by Ellis

Ellis Hospital also offers a unique peer counselor program that provides both advocacy and career-building opportunities for individuals. 

Through this initiative, individuals in recovery from mental health challenges can gain meaningful roles as advocates and support those who are still receiving treatment.

Utilizing their lived experience, peer counselors are extensively trained to assist clients from the perspective of someone who has successfully learned to manage their mental illness. 

They are integrated throughout Ellis’ various behavioral health services like the emergency room, inpatient psychiatric unit, and outpatient programs.

In these important frontline positions, peer counselors’ presence helps other patients and clients feel heard and empowered throughout their treatment process.

At the same time, this program also gives mental health consumers a chance to immerse themselves in training that can eventually lead to full-time, paid employment. 

For many peer counselors, this role serves as an important stepping stone in fostering vocational rehabilitation and confidence. 

Many peer counselors go on to rewarding careers in human services or transferable fields after gaining skills through the program.

Case Management and Family Support by Ellis Group

doctors treatment

Ellis Hospital also coordinates a weekly family support group that plays a crucial role in the treatment process. 

This group offers families of clients—whether admitted inpatient or receiving outpatient care—a chance to come together for mutual understanding and guidance.

Case managers recognize that when a loved one struggles with mental health issues, it can take a profound toll on entire families as well. 

This group provides a confidential space where caregivers feel comfortable sharing their own experiences, struggles, and questions without judgment.

Through the family support group, participants gain knowledge about various mental illnesses, medication management, and recovery resources from trained clinicians. 

This educational component helps demystify conditions and empower family members to best support their loved ones.

For those seeking more information or wishing to participate in this valuable program, they can contact the dedicated team at 518-243-3300.

Ellis Medical Group

Ellis Medical Group stands out as one of the largest multispecialty physician practices in the region. 

Comprising over 170 clinicians including 130 physicians, the group brings together experts from various specialties all under one integrated care system.

Patients have access to comprehensive primary care services and an extensive breadth of specialty areas. 

Whether needing routine medical care or treatment for a complex condition, Ellis has experienced board-certified providers to support virtually any health need.

What sets Ellis Medical Group apart is its multidisciplinary approach to patient care. 

For those managing mental health issues, this model demonstrates its strength. The group ensures seamless coordination between behavioral health specialists and primary physicians.

Psychiatrists, nurses, psychologists, and licensed social workers utilize their distinct skills to provide comprehensive psychiatric evaluations, therapy, and medication management when needed. 

Meanwhile, an on-site primary care doctor works closely with this team to consider any impacts on physical health or vice versa. 

Education Opportunities and Careers

Ellis Hospital is committed to developing the next generation of healthcare professionals through its prestigious academic programs.

The Belanger School of Nursing, conferred by the Ellis Medicine Board of Trustees, offers an Associate’s Degree in Nursing and prepares students to become registered professional nurses. 

Through this hospital-based program, registered jointly with Schenectady County Community College, individuals can gain clinical experience alongside top nursing faculty and staff.

Ellis also sponsors a highly regarded Family Medicine Residency program originally founded in 1977.

As one of the first such residencies in the Northeast, it has grown tremendously over decades into a benchmark of excellence. 

Residents have unmatched access to a diverse patient population and myriad clinical training experiences both within hospital settings and in community-based rotations.

Over three years, this program equips graduates with broad competencies to practice across all healthcare domains as highly skilled primary care physicians.

Through these academic divisions, Ellis Hospital transfers its legacy of quality care, research, and innovation into the development of new professionals.

Ellis Hospital also strengthens local communities through innovative workforce pipelines like the Ellis Promise program

By partnering with Schenectady schools, the promise provides career opportunities for high school and SUNY Schenectady graduates facing barriers in securing jobs. 

This helps develop a skilled healthcare workforce from within the community itself. Those joining Ellis’ diverse team can expect to thrive within a dynamic, supportive environment. 

As an employer, Ellis offers competitive salaries and a great package, including health and life insurance, and tuition assistance, etc., allowing employees to focus fully on their important work.

Their wellness programs for employees further foster balanced and fulfilling lives.

Through these investments, Ellis sets the standard as an employer of choice within the region.

Beyond direct patient care roles, Ellis cultivates a culture where all colleagues feel valued. Nurses especially benefit from a structure where they can achieve both professional excellence and personal well-being. 

This dedication to holistic support staff development reflects Ellis’ overarching commitment to serving the community at large through healthcare, education, and career upliftment.

Manuel Alejandro Patiño

Personal and professionally focused on integral wellness in mind, emotions, and body, as the main key to preventing toxic stress and chronic diseases. I try to be an example of what I teach, healing not just from the knowledge. I am also very adaptable to employeer’s requirements. I can understand and speak Spanish, English, and German very fluently.

More than 7 years of experience practicing and teaching Kundalini Yoga and other meditation