Adult Psychiatric Services
Welcome to Adult Psychiatry Services at Kaiser Permanente, Hayward/Union City! Our department has the distinguished honor of being recognized as a top performer in Psychiatry across the entire Kaiser Permanente Northern California region. We take great pride in our success, and do our very best to ensure that the service and treatment you receive is consistent with the most up to date best practices.
The program we offer in our clinic is very comprehensive and typically includes a number of different services, all of which are important in helping you improve your overall mental and physical health. Our team of providers consists of marriage/family therapists, social workers, registered dieticians, nurses, case managers, psychologists and psychiatrists. Therapy is also provided by post-masters or post-doctoral trainees, under the supervision of a licensed provider. The psychiatrists on our team specialize in the management of medications for various problems and work closely with the therapists to provide the best possible care for each patient in our clinic.
In psychiatry, the entire department works as a team. That means it is very common for a client to work with a number of different providers in our department. In most cases, you will work with someone for Brief Therapy or to resolve crises, attend Therapeutic Groups, work with a medical doctor to discuss Medication Treatment options, work with specialist regarding Drug or Alcohol issues, or consult with our Case Management about ongoing needs and resources. Our services are designed to work together and each piece of the treatment plan that you develop with a therapist will be critical to you getting the best possible benefit from your time here. There is always a mental health professional available on call, 24-hours per day, seven days per week for emergencies. Please click here for more information about our Crisis Service.
The individual therapy we provide in this clinic is goal-focused and typically brief in nature, as opposed to Case Management sessions, which are usually ongoing. When you meet with one of our outstanding individual therapists, he or she will work with you to target the specific problems which motivated you to call for an appointment.
During your initial evaluation (first appointment), the clinician will be meeting with you to complete an assessment of the problem, condition, or situation that prompted you to make the appointment. As part of this initial evaluation, the therapist will be asking you several questions in an effort to better understand your specific situation and then, working with you, he/she will formulate specific “treatment goals” based upon the specific concerns that have brought you to our clinic.
After establishing the specific goals for treatment, your therapist will help you to develop new skills which will likely help to reduce your symptoms as rapidly as possible. This therapy will most likely include homework that will give you an opportunity to practice new skills or to try out new behaviors, which you can discuss in your next individual or group therapy session.
Many of our clinicians posses special skills and expertise in working with certain conditions such as eating disorders, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and others. We even have specialists who are trained to conduct psychological testing to diagnosis Adult Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD).Your individual therapy, however, is only one part of your treatment. Combined with our excellent Therapeutic Groups, and, in some cases, with the benefit of Medication Treatment , Chemical Dependency Drug or Alcohol services, Behavioral Health Education, and your primary treatment provider, treatment in our clinic is truly a collaborative and comprehensive process. Perhaps it is for that reason, among others, that our department has been recognized as a top performer in the entire Northern California region year after year.
Most of the people who come to our clinic will participate in our extensive and highly praised group program. There has been a long standing myth the group therapy is “just a place where people air their ‘dirty laundry’.” Actually, research has demonstrated the group therapy can often be superior to individual therapy in addressing many of the most common mental health complaints, including issues of depression and anxiety. Our groups tend to focus more on skill building, and are designed to provide you with the resources you will need to more quickly resolve your specific complaints. We also have groups that offer more support and feedback such as issues related to aging, divorce/separation, and post-partum depression, and how drugs or alcohol might be interfering with your potential. Please refer to the description and List of Mental Health Groups we offer in our clinic to get a better idea of the wide selection of topics covered in our department.
We also offer psycho-educational classes through the department of Behavioral Health & Education, some of which are free of charge, and others which are more affordable than frequent co-pays. Examples of these types of classes include Couples Communication, Anger Management, Coping with Depression, and Managing Anxiety & Fear. There are even more classes listed through the . None of these classes require a referral to participate so you can enroll at any time. There are also libraries on both the Hayward and Union City campuses where you can read more about various mental health issues.
In some cases, people need a supportive hand in navigating through all of their medical and mental health care. Others benefit from assistance in overcoming obstacles that would prevent them from getting the most of their mental health care. In psychiatry, we understand the importance of such a “helping hand”, and refer to this benefit as “case management.”
Case management is a service which provides patients with someone who can assist them in "working the system.” That includes finding the appropriate resources at Kaiser or in the community to help increase emotional well being and stability. The role of a Case Manager is to help a patient with the coordination of all of the services that are required for their care. While our skilled case managers will not be providing ongoing therapy, they will be coordinating with those who do, whether it be in psychiatry or in another department. This may include helping you better understand all the various parts of your treatment, or coordinating communications between you, family members, and treating providers.
If you think case management may be helpful to you, please speak with your psychiatrist or therapist about a referral.
The Department of Psychiatry provides crisis services to make sure that you receive appropriate and effective interventions during psychiatric emergency situations. Our crisis services are available from 9:00am until 5:00pm, Monday through Friday. Our crisis services are designed specifically for the intervention of psychiatric emergencies only. Any medical emergencies should be directed to the Hayward Kaiser Medical Center Emergency Room located at 27400 Hesperian Boulevard, or by dialing 9-1-1. Any psychiatric crisis that occurs after hours, or during the weekend, is handled by the Regional Psychiatric Call Center.
It is strongly recommended that you call before coming in to avoid any unwanted charges, payments, or extended waiting time.
Crisis evaluations are different than a routine appointment with a therapist. Typically, crisis evaluations are brief, and are performed to determine if more intense psychiatric treatment is required, such as hospitalization or participation in our Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP). While every patient needing urgent care will be seen, cases of a more severe nature will be attended to be based on priority; it is not necessarily “first come, first served.” Therefore, it is possible that you may find yourself waiting as long as 1 or, in rare circumstances, 2 hours before you are seen, especially if you do not call ahead of time. If your current symptoms and/or situation is something that can wait until the next appointment with your therapist, the next crisis group, or even something that can be addressed over the phone, we recommend you follow up with those options.
The Adult Psychiatry Crisis/Drop-In Group meets every Wednesday, from 3:30pm – 5:00pm. The Crisis Group is a drop-in, on-going support group for clients in crisis who need support and constructive feedback. The group is typically for two types of clients – 1) those who are new to the department and waiting for the first appointment with a therapist in the department or, 2) those needing support and feedback in addition to other services received at the clinic ([ i i.e.] needing support in between visits with the therapist). The format of the group is structured so that each participant of the group has the opportunity to share the issues that are facing them and receive support and feedback. The size of the group is generally small which allows for each participant to have an adequate time to speak.
Please be aware members who enter our clinic after 4:30pm for crisis may be transferred to the Hospital Emergency Room for further evaluation and safety concerns. People transferred to the hospital from our clinic for psychiatric emergencies will often not be allowed to drive themselves. If this transfer is deemed necessary, you may be charged for any ambulance fees incurred as a result of transfer. It is therefore recommended that in the event of a psychiatric emergency occurring after 4:30pm, you proceed directly to the Emergency Room and not the Psychiatry clinic.
Members who come to our clinic for treatment are sometimes referred for a specialized medication evaluation for certain conditions such as severe depression or anxiety, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, as well as others. Medications, combined with other therapeutic skills, can often make a substantial improvement in the quality of life.
Quite simply, psychotherapeutic medications can help make other kinds of treatment more effective. Someone who is too depressed to talk or has trouble focusing, for instance, can't get much benefit from psychotherapy or counseling; but often, the right medication will improve symptoms so that the person can respond better. Research has revealed a great deal more about the workings of the brain and how psycho-therapeutic medications can help relieve disorders such as psychosis, depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, and bipolar disorder. In fact, the right medication can make a truly substantial difference and improvement in your quality of life!
Just as aspirin can reduce a fever without clearing up the infection that causes it, psychotherapeutic medications act by controlling symptoms. Similar to many of the drugs used in medicine, they correct or compensate for some potential imbalance in the body. Psychotherapeutic medications do not cure mental illness, but they do lessen its burden. In many cases, these medications can help a person get on with life despite some continuing mental pain and difficulty coping with problems.
The exceptional psychiatrists who work in our department are committed to working with you to implement the right medication and course of treatment. They also work closely with your therapist or case manager to make sure that all of the various components of your treatment plan are working harmoniously. Our nursing staff is similarly available to help address questions you may have about your prescriptions, or any of your treatment concerns.
Chemical Dependency Recovery Program
For our members who may struggle with drug or alcohol use, we encourage you to consider meeting with one of our specialists in our Chemical Dependency Recovery Program (CDRP). At the CDRP, you’ll get help with your drug or alcohol concerns, as well as other concerns that may be occurring at the same time as the drug or alcohol use, such as depression, anxiety, trauma, stress, etc. Not sure if it’s a problem? Not sure how to deal with it? No problem. Feel free to meet with a therapist in the CDRP to explore these questions further. The decision is always yours. If you’re not sure whether a CDRP appointment is necessary, simply ask our phone screener when you call 510-675-3080, and they’ll be happy to make recommendations.