Yeshiva University, a private university in New York City, has opened expanded and upgraded facilities for the Max and Celia Parnes Family Psychological and Psychoeducational Services Clinic.

Several city and state elected representatives secured funding for the project.

Their partnership with Parnes underlines the need for low-cost mental health services for Bronx families and is expected to help those residents who could not afford quality mental health care.

The Parnes Clinic is the training clinic of the Yeshiva University’s Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology.

The partnership is also expected to further the training of Ferkauf students.

Parnes Clinic director and clinical professor of psychology Dr William Salton said: “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.

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“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.”

Around 43.8 million, or 18.5% of adults in the US experience mental illness every year. In addition, nearly 548,000 adults (9%) in New York City experienced depression in 2016. Hence there is a need for additional trained mental health professionals.

The clinic provides Ferkauf students with an opportunity to provide services to the community and also to learn how the social context of their patients influences the effectiveness of their interventions.

Yeshiva University provost and vice-president for academic affairs Dr. Selma Botman said: “By using our talents and resources in the service of others, we honor the principles upon which Yeshiva University was founded.

“Parnes’ 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.”

The Parnes Clinic has been providing several services to the community, including cognitive behavioural therapy, psychodynamic therapy, psychological assessments, child, and family and couples counselling.