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Psychiatric Hospital to launch Intensive Outpatient Program for depression


Mood Disorders IOP staff include (l-r): Katherine Klingensmith, MD; Rebecca Koenigsberg, LCSW; Ellen Rubin, APRN; and Christina Iovanne, LCSW.

This month, Yale New Haven Psychiatric Hospital is scheduled to launch a Mood Disorders Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) for patients with depression that has not responded to previous treatment.

The six-week Mood Disorders IOP will be an enhancement of services currently provided at the Adult Intensive Outpatient Program at 425 George St., New Haven. The new program grew out of a need to provide an outpatient treatment component of the Interventional Psychiatry Service and Inpatient Mood Disorders Unit at the psychiatric hospital.

"At any given time, about 2 percent of the general population has depression that merits treatment," said Marshal Mandelkern, MD, PhD. "But about one-third to one-half of those people fail to respond to treatment. That's a major reason we created this program, which focuses specifically on these patients.

"In developing the Mood Disorders IOP, physicians and clinicians took a holistic approach designed to help patients understand the various aspects of their illness and how they can help their recovery. A major component is group-based cognitive behavioral therapy, which patients participate in for three hours, three times a week.

"Cognitive behavior therapy is an evidence-based, best practice proven to be helpful to patients with depression and anxiety," said Christina Iovanne, LCSW. "It teaches people tools to manage the symptoms of depression."

The IOP also involves patients' loved ones, who are included in meetings with patients and clinicians. In addition, Katherine Klingensmith, MD, provides medical oversight and will help patients and families understand depression and how it affects the mind, body and mood.

Other aspects of the program include complementary therapies to help patients develop a healthy lifestyle and habits to promote physical and mental health, focusing on mindfulness, energy and movement.

Referrals to the Mood Disorders IOP can be made by any healthcare provider. Patients should have a diagnosis of depression with a lack of response to at least one prior treatment. For information, call 203-688-9723.