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By Dr. María L. Reyes-Rabanillo
The VA Caribbean Healthcare System (VACHS) in San Juan, Puerto Rico, is a Federal government-owned facility and a complex medical institution that is highly affiliated with Medical, Technological, Technical, Pharmacy and Allied Health Disciplines Schools. The Hospital is the most comprehensive medical care organization in the Island, and has Community-Based Out Patient Clinics in Ponce, Mayagüez, Arecibo, Guayama, St. Thomas, St. Croix, Utuado and Ceiba. We also have sharing agreements with the Department of Defense.
The Behavioral Health Sciences programs provide behavioral health services to approximately 20,000 Veterans from Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The Acute Care Line is composed of five distinct functional units: the Psychiatric Intervention Center (PIC), Acute Behavioral Health Inpatient Care Unit (ABHICU), the Day Hospital Program (DH), Consultation and Liaison (C&L) and the Electroconvulsive Therapy Program (ECT Program). The Psychiatric Intervention Center (PIC), located in the Main Facility, is available 24/7, and is designed to manage the psychiatric emergencies of our patients experiencing a wide range of emotional, behavioral and psychosocial problems. The patient’s initial screenings and assessments are performed to determine the need for care or treatment to be provided. The Acute Behavioral Health Inpatient Care Unit (ABHICU) is the unit designed to provide the services and appropriate environment in order to stabilize mental health patients in need of hospitalization. The Consultation and Liaison Service provides relief of psychiatric symptoms to patients being treated in the non-psychiatric wards of the VA Caribbean Healthcare System. It also assists the staff of the non-psychiatric services in handling psychiatric emergencies. The Day Hospital Program (DH) is structured to meet the needs of a group of patients with sub-acute presentations who require more intensive short-term treatment than is available to outpatients but not as intensive as in an inpatient setting. The Electroconvulsive Therapy Program (ECT Program) is designed to administer safe and effective electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) to the severely depressed and/or medically compromised patients with appropriate indications (American Psychiatric Association) that may include: severe major depression, mania, some forms of schizophrenia and/or certain medical disorders.
The Ambulatory services include: Primary Care Mental Health Integration Program (PCMHI), Behavioral Health Clinics (BHC), Mental Health Intensive Case Management (MHICM), Mental Health Trauma Recovery Center (MHTRC), Substance Use Disorder Clinic (SUDC) and Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP). The PCMHI program provides preventive behavioral health interventions in the primary care settings in locations like San Juan, Ceiba, Mayaguez, and Ponce. The BHC provides psychiatric evaluations and short and long term interdisciplinary treatment services to patients requiring such services. They are located in the San Juan Main Facility, Ponce, Mayaguez, Guayama and Arecibo. The Mental Health Intensive Case Management (MHICM) provides treatment and close follow up to the severe mentally ill Veterans with branches at the Main Facility, Ponce and Mayaguez. The MHTRC is created to provide specialized outpatient care, education and treatment to the Veteran population suffering with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Military Sexual Trauma.
For services you may contact our Main Facility at 787-641-7582. We have a Veterans Crisis Line (787-622-4822) which is available 24/7 with services in Spanish in addition to the National Crisis Line (1-866-712-4822). Learn more »