Recovery Options: Zucker Hillside Hospital IPRT

by Christina Bruni Patient Expert

Ever since 2002, I've been giving talks to the clients at the Zucker Hillside IPRT in Hollis, Queens.
It's going on 13 years that I've been involved with this center in New York City.

An IPRT is an intensive psychiatric rehabilitation treatment program.
The focus is on rehabilitation.
Unlike a traditional day program where patients warm chairs long-term an IPRT has a 12 to 24 month life goal completion date.

A traditional day program might have therapy, health education, art therapy and other sessions each day or each week.
IPRT as a model treatment goes beyond this by focusing on a goal that is SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-sensitive.

Typical Zucker Hillside client goals might be to attend college or to find a part-time job or a full-time job.
Since each goal is chosen according to the individual's needs at that time it's unique to that person.
Asking: "How long should it take to get to recovery?" is not helpful.
Each person
brings his or her life experiences, traits, and limitations to the table.

Yet more importantly, the client brings his or her assets to bear on achieving the goal(s).
An IPRT is the treatment modality I prefer because it adheres to the Asset Model of treatment instead of focusing on deficits and trying to improve deficits.

The key to success in recovery is to maximize our assets instead of trying to correct weaknesses.
This has been a hidden technique in the mainstream world for at least two decades.
Smart corporations and individuals have been doing this all along.
It's time to use this strategy with those of us who have a mental illness diagnosis.

The Zucker Hillside Hospital IPRT program hours are Monday through Friday 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM.
From their brochure "What is an IPRT?":

"An Intensive Psychiatric Rehabilitation Treatment Program (IPRT) is a community based mental health service regulated and certified by the New York State Office of Mental Health.
IPRT is intended for individuals with disabilities due to psychiatric illness who express a need for change in either their living, educational, vocational or social environments.
IPRT is flexible and is designed to support and assist a person throughout the process of choosing, attaining and maintaining their goals."

IPRT helps clients achieve their goals through group activities and classroom-like experiences; individual and group counseling; supervised individuals projects; skills training and resource development; referrals to specialized resources and services.

Admission criteria are the referral by a licensed mental health professional; DMS-V diagnosis of mental disorder; symptom stability (patients do not have to be symptom-free to work on goals); and rehabilitation readiness as determined collaboratively with the participant.

Zucker Hillside Hospital IPRT is located at 205-07 Hillside Avenue, Suite 5-9
Hollis, New York 11423.
It's at the corner of Francis Lewis Boulevard.
The Q1, 36, 43, 76 and 77 buses stop directly in front of the site with connections to the F, E, J and G subway lines.

The IPRT accepts Medicaid, private insurance, and private pay.
Call (718) 465-3294 ext. 10154.

I greatly admire and respect and have fond memories of the clients I've met through the talks I've given in the fall and spring over the years at Zucker Hillside Hospital IPRT.
I do remember them.
I admire and respect and champion their courage to reach out for support to get their needs met in achieving life goals.

In the future I will report on other treatments and services in the ongoing
Recovery Options series.

Christina Bruni
Meet Our Writer
Christina Bruni

Christina Bruni wrote about schizophrenia for HealthCentral as a Patient Expert. She is a mental health activist and freelance journalist.