Frequently Asked Questions
Housing FAQ’s

Q:  How do I know if I am eligible for services at SAIL?
A:  SAIL provides housing and services to persons who either have or who are recovering from a serious mental illness.  In our Family Programs, the head(s) of the household must have the disability.

Q:  How do I apply for housing at SAIL?
A:  All Long Island Universal Housing Applications must be sent to the Single Point of Access (SPA) office.  Their address and phone number is: 191 Sweet Hollow Road, Old Bethpage, NY 11804; (631) 231-3562.  or more information about the admission process please call our Service Coordinator at (516) 855-1800, x 1006.

Q.  What is the cost of housing services at SAIL?
A:  Most consumers pay for the Congregate Treatment and Apartment Treatment Programs through their monthly Social Security check and Medicaid.  We also have a “private pay” fee scale for those consumers who do not have Medicaid.  Consumers in the various Supported Housing programs pay 30% of their income for the housing and services.

Q:  Can I have my own room or own apartment?
A:  Almost all consumers in any apartment have their own room.  We also have some single bedrooms in the Congregate programs.  In addition, we have some studio and one-bedroom apartments but they are always the first to go.

Q:  What services do you provide in the housing programs?
A:  In the Congregate and Apartment Treatment Programs we provide services that are considered a “medical necessity.”  This means that the consumer should show some desire to become more independent and eventually move on since these are not permanent housing programs.  The Supported Housing Programs are considered permanent housing and therefore the services are geared to helping the consumer stay in their current housing with more minimal supports.  All housing programs operate under a recovery based treatment plan.

Q:  Do you have immediate space for me if I am homeless or about to be homeless?
A:  SAIL does not have a shelter so all housing applications must go through the SPA office.  However, we do have housing and services specifically for individuals and/or families who are homeless.  If there are openings in these programs it is possible that you could quickly move in.

Q:  Must I have a structured activity during the day?
A:  Although most consumers are involved in some type of activity during the day or evening, this is not a requirement.  However, we do believe that it is helpful in one’s recovery to have some structure so we would probably work with you to find something in which you were interested.  

Q:  Must I be on medication in the housing programs?
A:  No.  This in entirely dependent upon what you and your clinical treatment team decide what is in your best interest.  It is not a requirement in any of our housing programs.


Q:  What is ACT and is it effective? 
A:  ACT is an acronym for Assertive Community Treatment.  It is am evidence based practice which means it has been tested and proven to be effective. There has been a lot of research comparing ACT to other programs.  Studies have shown that people who receive ACT services were less likely to be hospitalized and were more likely to have stable housing.  

Q:  How is ACT different from other mental health services?
A:  ACT services utilize a team approach.  The staff members in an ACT Program are a group of 10-12 practitioners who work as a team.  The Teams consist of Psychiatrists, Nurses, Social Workers, Employment Specialists, Peer Specialists and Substance Abuse specialists.

Q:  How do I apply for ACT services?
A:  ACT referrals are completed by clinical entities such as case management, hospitals, therapists, private psychiatrists.  Usually these are clinical staff that have worked with the consumer in the past and have the full clinical history.  The referral source sends the applications to the Nassau County Department of Mental Health, Chemical Dependency and Developmental Disabilities at 60 Charles Lindbergh Blvd., Suite 200, Uniondale, NY 11553-3687.  The county is then responsible for reviewing and determining if the consumer meets the criteria for an ACT evaluation and the referral is usually sent to the Team that is in the closest location to where the consumer lives.  The ACT team themselves DO NOT take direct referrals.  

Q:  What are the criteria for ACT services?
A:  ACT services persons who have a severe and persistent mental illness listed in the diagnostic statistical manual (DSM IV) that seriously impairs their functioning in the community.  Priority is given to people with Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder, Major Depression and other psychotic disorders in addition to those who have a multitude of hospitalizations in their lifetime.  Priority is also given to individuals with continuous high service need whose previous needs have not been met by traditional mental health services.  

Q:  What types of services does ACT provide?
A:  ACT provides a vast array of services as ACT has a multidisciplinary approach to mental health.  ACT services include but are not limited to providing medication support, vocational educational services, substance abuse services, assistance in daily living, housing assistance, exploring entitlement issues, supportive counseling, psychoeducation, and wellness management in addition to group work in several areas.

Q:  Do ACT consumers have to take medication?
A:  Some people who experience psychiatric symptoms find that medications help reduce or eliminate symptoms and make it a part of their recovery plan.  However not all consumers choose to take medications.  For those who choose to take medication, the team will work very closely with the consumer to see which medications work the best.

Q:  How often does a consumer see an ACT team member?
A:  Treatment recommendations vary among each consumer.  The frequency of visits can vary from every day to two or three times per week depending on need of service.  ACT is required to see each consumer at least 6 times per month but works with consumers on a need by need basis.  If an individual needs a lot of support, team members will be in touch with the person as many times each day as necessary.  Because of the team’s ongoing involvement and the team’s ability to quickly change the amount and type of services someone receives, emergencies can often be avoided.

Q:  How does ACT relate to families?  
A:  An ACT team will respect your wishes about whether or not you want to involve your family or other people in your treatment. With your permission, the team can help your family better understand your illness and how to support your recovery.  

Q:  Where are ACT services provided?
A:  ACT services are provided in the community (hence Assertive Community Treatment), at ACT offices and can be held at other clinical facilities such as day treatment programs etc.  The visits are tailored to meet the needs of the individuals that ACT services.  ACT members discuss in advance with the client, the most convenient environment for the client to meet.      

Q:  How long do ACT services last?
A:  ACT makes a long term commitment to individuals.  Teams provide whatever services and supports an individual may need for as long as they are needed.  As individuals progress toward their recovery goal, team members are in touch less often but continue to be available if a need for any additional supports may arise. 

Did You Know...?
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1.  SAIL is the largest mental health housing provider in Nassau County.

2.  SAIL was started by a group of parents who wanted housing for their adult children with a mental illness.

3.  Individuals with serious mental illness face an increased risk of having chronic medical conditions. Adults with serious mental illness die 25 years younger than other Americans, largely due to treatable medical conditions.

4.   One in four adults-approximately 57.7 million Americans—experience a mental health disorder in a given year. One in seventeen lives with a serious mental illness, such as schizophrenia, major depression or bipolar disorder, and about one in ten children have a serious mental or emotional disorder.

5.  Employers who have hired individuals with mental illnesses report that their attendance and punctuality exceed the norm, and that their motivation, work quality, and job tenure is as good as or better than that of other employees.
      --The Center for               Reintegration

6.  How mental illness is experienced, expressed, and treated often varies according to an individual's age, gender, race, or ethnic background, as well as other cultural phenomena. David Satcher, Ph.D., the former Surgeon General, noted that "... a history of racism, discrimination and economic impoverishment can combine with mistrust and fear to deter minorities from using services and receiving appropriate care."

7.  The World Health Organization has reported that four of the 10 leading causes of disability in the US and other developed countries are mental disorders. By 2020, Major Depressive illness will be the leading cause of disability in the world for women and children.  

8.  Stigma erodes confidence that mental disorders are real, treatable health conditions. We have allowed stigma and a now unwarranted sense of hopelessness to erect attitudinal, structural and financial barriers to effective treatment and recovery. It is time to take these barriers down.