URMC moves some mental healthcare to downtown Rochester

Jul 16, 2020


Outpatient mental health services from University of Rochester Medical Center including Lazos Fuertes, URMC’s Spanish-language mental healthcare, are moving from Brighton to downtown Rochester next week.

Dr. Telva Olivares, director of Lazos Fuertes, says the move helps meet patients where they live. 

The outpatient mental healthcare center, including Lazos Fuertes, is located at 150 N. Chestnut St. near the Eastman School of Music.
Credit URMC

Many patients live in the city and ride the bus to appointments, so the new location is just a few blocks from the downtown bus terminal, making mental healthcare more accessible.

“People don’t have access because they don’t have transportation, they don’t have cars or the bus line isn’t close enough,” said Olivares. “So it’s going to be incredibly helpful for a lot of people.”

And while she says URMC intends to expand services and reach more people in need, she also sees this change in location as an opportunity to help enliven the city.

“You feel like a fiber of the city and you feel like you’re giving back in some ways, right?” Olivares said. “To be part of the city and revitalize it with very important mental health services.”

Dr. Telva Olivares is URMC's director of the medicine in psychiatry services and director of Lazos Fuertes.
Credit URMC

Dr. Kathryn Castle, URMC’s director of adult ambulatory services, hopes the move will help form partnerships and outreach with other organizations that provide social services like emergency housing, substance abuse treatment, and support groups -- things that can help alleviate the kinds of stressors that can negatively affect mental health.

“Mental health generally is one issue but it’s not the only concern that they have,” said Castle. “There’s financial insecurity. There’s food insecurity. There’s housing insecurity.”

Dr. Olivares says they will begin holding in-person appointments and groups according to safety guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo. 

The site will be open to patients beginning July 27. Strong Ties and Deaf Wellness services from URMC will remain in Brighton.