At the start of Mental Health Awareness Month, Yeshiva University joined New York City and State elected officials with university leadership, students, and faculty to inaugurate newly enlarged and enhanced facilities for the Max and Celia Parnes Family Psychological and Psychoeducational Services Clinic. The Parnes Clinic is the training clinic of the University’s Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology.
The grand-opening ceremony and ribbon-cutting recognized the contributions of the various city and state elected officials who secured funding for the project. This included Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., City Council Member Andrew Cohen, and State Assembly members Nathalia Fernandez and Daniel Rosenthal, who joined university officials in offering remarks at the ceremony. Yeshiva University President Dr. Ari Berman also praised the contributions of City Council Member Mark Gjonaj and his predecessor, former Council Member James Vacca. The officials’ partnership with Parnes, which underscores the ongoing need for low-cost mental-health services for Bronx families, will help those residents who could not otherwise afford quality mental-health care, as well as further the training of Ferkauf students who are the next generation of mental-health professionals.
“This clinic will be invaluable to Bronxites and to all New Yorkers who will be traveling to our borough for the quality, low-cost mental-health services that it will offer. I was honored to support this project with $513,000 from my capital budget, and I thank Yeshiva University for providing such an important resource to our community,” stated Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. at the official opening.
“I am thrilled to celebrate the inauguration of the new Max and Celia Parnes Family Psychological and Psychoeducational Services Clinic,” remarked New York City Council Member Andrew Cohen. “As always, I am grateful to Yeshiva University for bringing this much-needed facility and its services to the Bronx. Thank you to former Council Member Jimmy Vacca for leading the charge and to all my other colleagues in government who helped make this day possible.”
“The Parnes Clinic serves a vital role in our community,” said Assemblywoman Nathalia Fernandez. “Mental illness has run rampant in our neighborhoods, and it’s difficult for those who can’t afford traditional help. The clinic provides a wonderful, low-cost opportunity to receive assistance and make strides towards bettering oneself. I recognized the good that it has done and will continue to do, and as such I am proud to have provided funding to support the construction of their new and improved clinic. I look forward to the expansion and positive impact that it will bring.”
Assembly member Daniel Rosenthal noted that “the Parnes Clinic of Yeshiva University has provided our underserved populations with the care they have needed for decades. The expansion of this clinic is a vital step towards training a generation of practitioners to respond to the growing need for affordable mental health services in New York City. I am proud to join my colleagues in securing funding that will increase access for the thousands of New Yorkers that rely on these services.”
There is a tremendous need for additional trained mental-health professionals. Approximately 1 in 5 adults in the U.S, nearly 43.8 million, or 18.5 percent, experience mental illness in a given year. In addition, approximately 548,000 adults (9 percent) in New York City experienced depression in 2016. Living with an individual who has a mental illness impacts family, friends, coworkers, and communities.
For years, the Parnes Clinic has ensured that the local community has had access to affordable mental-health resources. The clinic provides many services to the community, including cognitive behavioral therapy, psychodynamic therapy, psychological assessments, child, family, and couples counseling, and more.
“The clinic was created to provide a safe space for the underserved patients of the Bronx to receive affordable mental-health care, which includes the top-of-the-line services they deserve,” said Dr. William Salton, clinical professor of psychology and the director of the clinic. “Parnes houses the fourth-largest training clinic in the country, serving over 600 patients and booking between 700 and 900 appointments per month. We are deeply indebted to our elected officials who not only advocate for destigmatizing mental health but who are also helping us to expand our mission by giving us the opportunity to assist many individuals and families in need.”
As a training institution, the Parnes Clinic provides Ferkauf students with an unparalleled opportunity not only to provide services to the community but also to learn how the social context of their patients influences the effectiveness of their interventions.
“By using our talents and resources in the service of others, we honor the principles upon which Yeshiva University was founded,” noted Dr. Selma Botman, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs at Yeshiva University. “Parnes’s new state-of-the-art facilities will help our Ferkauf students continue to fulfill that mission. We greatly appreciate the confidence and partnership our elected officials have provided in helping us secure funding so that Bronx residents can continue to receive affordable mental-health services of the highest quality.”