© 2024
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Behavioral Health Services Now Searchable Online In Westchester

Westchester County has a new online service map and directory for behavioral health services. The searchable database has services for mental health, substance use and developmental and intellectual disabilities.

Joe Glazer is deputy commissioner of the Westchester County Department of Community Mental Health.

“We used to have a publication, a directory that was about this thick. And it was spiral bound. And it took forever to produce, forever to print, forever to get into the community and, within weeks, somebody’s address would change, somebody’s phone number would change and that would be obsolete.”

He depicted “this thick” as more than an inch. The Department of Community Mental Health and County Department of Information and Technology developed the online map and database. County Executive George Latimer says the project had its start under the previous administration.

“Before I was county executive, over three years ago, the Department of Community Mental Health requested that they take what was then information that was provided in paper and in PDF format, and try to create an electronic, searchable directory of service providers and locations so that people could more easily access this, people in need not knowing how to reach the people who can provide the service that would help them accomplish this task,” Latimer says. “So I credit the prior administration of Rob Astorino for beginning the process, and then now, during our tenure here, to try to bring it to fruition.”

Again, Glazer.

“You will see that we’ve overlaid all of these services with a map of the Bee Line bus system,” Glazer says. “So not only can you identify the service provider you want to connect with, not only and, in the case of Charlotte from MHA Westchester, not only can their care managers and their staff connect you with the other services you need, but you can find the way to get to the programs that you need to get yourself to.”

He refers to the CEO of the Mental Health Association of Westchester Charlotte Ostman.

“One of the biggest barriers for people to accessing help is not knowing where to begin or how to begin. And this gives a fast, easy resource for people to find something close to them and to access information about transportation. We’ve all become accustomed to using our electronic devices to order food, to order transportation, to get hotel rooms, to shop for houses,” Ostman says. “Now we can get mental health services at our fingertips, and that’s going to be very important for the people that we serve.”

She says the online database and map will be helpful not only for people who use the services but for those who assist them, such as care managers in the field. County Department of Information and Technology Commissioner Marguerite Beirne:

“We took that spiral-bound book of providers. We geocoded them. We put them on our GIS map, and then we added the different layers. And, as mentioned, one of the most prominent one is any of the Bee Line buses, we can tell you how to get there within a certain geographical distance. If you’re on your phone, you can say, I’m looking for this type of provider within five miles of where I am, near me, type of technology.”

Glazer offered a demonstration of the online tool.

“If you take a look at service type, you’ve got mental health, you’ve got intellectual and developmental disabilities, chemical dependency,” says Glazer. “You also have chemical dependency residences.”

He says users can locate the link to the map by typing “DCMH Services” into their search engines.

Related Content