With High Demand for Affordable Mental Health Services During Pandemic, Albizu University Clinic Adds Telehealth Capabilities and Expands Hours
Proof of insurance is not required, and treatment is provided on an income-based sliding scale
The Albizu University Miami Campus outpatient treatment facility for mental health and speech and language services, currently known as the Goodman Center, has added telehealth capabilities to its existing array of services and expanded its hours of operation and services to meet the increasing demand for remote treatment of mental health issues during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Goodman Center now operates Monday to Thursday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and telehealth sessions are held via a secure and private system of encrypted video calls between patients and therapists.
Telehealth enables the Goodman Center to securely treat patients who reside in Florida. Telehealth speech and language treatment with licensed Goodman Center therapists also is available for residents of Kansas.
Sponsored by Albizu University, a leader in undergraduate and graduate psychology programs, the Goodman Center has an impeccable record of providing quality mental health services in English and Spanish to thousands of people throughout South Florida since 1980. Services at the Goodman Center are provided according to a sliding fee schedule to any adult, child, or family without the requirement of medical insurance. Services include individual psychotherapy for ages five and up; therapy for couples and marriages; family therapy; psychoeducational groups in specialized topic areas (i.e., parenting skills training); and psychological, diagnostic, and psychoeducational evaluations for children, adolescents, and adults that can determine special cognitive abilities and disorders.
Thanks to its affordable sliding scale fees, the Goodman Center can serve individuals and families with no health insurance experiencing financial stress. The bilingual staff also helps alleviate the cultural stigma often related to obtaining mental health services, particularly for people with limited English language proficiency.
“The current state of uncertainty in the world has negatively affected the mental health of millions of people,” said Dr. Evangelina Alonso, director of the Goodman Center.
“Many people cannot access the professional help they need due to restrictions associated with the practice of social distancing while the pandemic endures,” Dr. Alonso added. “Being able to provide mental health care through the Goodman Center with the help of new telehealth tools and expanded hours is a wonderful commodity for our existing patients since some of them come from very far to get treatment, as well as a great asset to attract new patients who seek treatment from the safety of their homes. We plan to keep this service active after the pandemic is over.”
The Goodman Center serves as the in-house training facility for all clinical programs at Albizu University. Currently, it has 24 doctoral candidates working there and providing services through the Doctoral Internship program. Under the supervision of licensed professionals, practicum students must complete two-thousand work hours over a twelve-month period. The program allows hopeful graduates to develop a greater level of autonomy and responsibility as future mental health care professionals by applying their learnings and practicing their skills with real patients who have real problems daily. They also learn about the importance of serving their community and experience the satisfaction of helping those in need first-hand, which is essential to anyone who pursues a career in health care.