Behavioral Health Services at UT Health Northeast provides crisis intervention, comprehensive diagnostic evaluation, and state-of-the-art treatment and follow-up for individuals age 55 and older who are experiencing emotional, cognitive, or behavioral distress. Our goals are to relieve symptoms and improve quality of life.
Focus on Older Adults
We know that the needs of older adults are often very different from those of a younger population. We have designed our senior-specific inpatient unit and outpatient counseling center around the unique physical, emotional, and cognitive challenges of the older adult patient.
We provide 24-hour intensive treatment in a safe, structured, and supportive environment. In addition to behavioral health services, our patients have access to services at UT Health Northeast, including physical and occupational therapy and laboratory, dietary, and emergency services.
Conditions We Treat
- Anger and Irritability
- Changes in behavior that interfere with care at home or in a long-term setting
- Difficulty with loss or transition
- Memory problems
- Mood disturbances
- Paranoia or suspicion
- Social withdrawal
- Thoughts of suicide
Dr. Andrews is a licensed psychologist, with board certification in forensic psychology. He works in the Internal Medicine Clinic and in the Center for Healthy Aging. Dr. Andrews works throughout our behavioral health department seeing children and adolescents, adults, and seniors. He is also trained to conduct psychological as well as neuropsychological testing to help assess, diagnose, and treat patients with neurological, medical, developmental, or psychiatric conditions. He has interests in oncology, spirituality, depression, and ethics, and he is a certified alcohol and substance abuse counselor. For over 35 years, Dr. Andrews has also helped people as a hospital chaplain, pastoral counselor, and marriage and family therapist. He has a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in clinical psychology, as well as a master’s of divinity and a doctorate in ministry.referral only
Specialties:Senior Behavioral Health /
Zalinda Colston received her Family Nurse Practitioner training at Indiana State University, and believes in providing quality preventive care to her patients. With over ten years of experience in mental health and psychiatric nursing in East Texas, she specializes in providing medical care to patients in our senior behavioral health unit.Referral only
Psychiatry and Neurology
Dr. Matthews has practiced psychiatry for 20 years, working in both outpatient and institutional settings. He is board certified in psychiatry and neurology and completed a research fellowship at the National Institute of Mental Health, part of the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Matthews has also been a consultant on NASA studies of the effects of extended bed rest. His expertise is valuable to the acute, residential, and senior behavioral health program at UT Health, and the intensive outpatient program in Longview.referral only
Specialties:Senior Behavioral Health /
Dr. Phyllis Ramirez has been working in the behavioral health field for 20+ years as a psychiatrist. Not only has she treated patients but she has also taught as a university assistant professor. Dr. Ramirez received her medical degree from UT Medical Branch and completed her residency there and at the University of Washington. She has cared for patients throughout East Texas and provides her expertise to our senior behavioral health patients.
Trusted Experts for Older Adults
The Senior Behavioral Health Services team is a group of compassionate caregivers who believe strongly that confidentiality, respect, and dignity are of the utmost importance to our patients and their families. Our team of health care professionals includes psychiatrists, internists and family medicine physicians, psychologists, nurses, social workers, licensed counselors, and activity and music therapists.
We work with the patient, the family, and other health professionals to develop a course of treatment that best meets the needs of the individual. Patients and their families will receive education on specific disorders, medications, and effective coping strategies.
Overview of Services
- Comprehensive medical and psychological evaluation
- Individualized treatment plan
- Family participation
- Coping and life-skills training
- Therapeutic exercise/stress reduction
- Group and music therapy
- Medication management and education
- Discharge planning
Anyone can make a referral to the Senior Behavioral Health Services at UT Health Northeast. We work closely with family, the referring physician, and any agencies involved in caring for the individual. We accept patients 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
UT Health Northeast accepts Medicare, Medicaid, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and most insurance plans.
5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. – Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday
1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m – Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday
To visit, you must have the patient’s Patient ID Number. Only two visitors at a time are allowed and no one under the age of 16 is permitted to visit. No cell phones or purses are allowed during visitation. There are lockers in the waiting room where visitors can safely place their belongings. Clergy may visit at any time but it is strongly recommended that they call the nurse’s station to make arrangements.
Nurse’s station: (903) 877-8282
Patient phone: (903) 877-8213
Patient phone times: 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.; 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
To ensure a safe environment our unit is secured to prevent elopement or unauthorized entrance and protect patient privacy. Our patient’s privacy is of paramount importance and each visitor must provide credentials to enter the unit. There are scheduled visitation times daily.
The daily schedule consists of snacks and activities throughout the day, community groups, music therapy, therapy groups with social workers and 24 hour nursing care. Our psychiatrist offers comprehensive assessments and medication management, with assistance from internal medicine. The patient’s social workers and recovery team nurse collaborate with the patient to form a discharge plan that best suits the patient’s needs, and work with them to find community resources for continued care.
Intensive Outpatient Program
Our Intensive Outpatient Program, located on the campus of UT Health Northeast and also in Longview, provide treatment that enables adults to address their illness while remaining independent in their homes or long-term care settings. This level of care may prevent the need for hospitalization, shorten a hospital stay, or serve as a “step down” from inpatient care.
Our outpatient program is designed for older adults who have symptoms that interfere with quality of life such as withdrawal, isolation, grief, depression, and loneliness. Treatment includes therapy groups that focus on such issues as cognitive training, coping with physical illness, anger management, problem solving, coping skills, relapse prevention, and late-in-life transitions (for example, retirement, relocation, loss of spouse).
Seniors referred to the program receive a psychiatric evaluation and psychosocial assessment to ensure that the program address the patient’s specific needs with a personalized treatment plan and schedule. Lunch is provided daily to participants and transportation is available. Learn more about the Intensive Outpatient Program in Tyler and Longview.