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Introducing The Steward House at Silver Hill

Discover our confidential, intensive mental health treatment program for executives and professionals in collaboration with Yale New Haven Health and Yale Medicine.

WATCH THE STEWARD HOUSE VIDEO
  • The Steward House is the newest transitional living program at Silver Hill Hospital in New Canaan Connecticut. We are a program that specializes in the treatment of Executives and Professionals who have mental health and addiction problems.

    I believe that the collaboration between Yale New Haven hospital and Silver Hill Hospital creates a unique opportunity. Each of these institutions is world class in their own right. And coming together creates unique opportunities for synergies.

    We really emphasize the clinical care, that’s number one for us. And we emphasize collaboration. So the patient really being at the center of the treatment team.

    These are individuals who have extraordinary levels of responsibility. Things can quickly turn from being a problem of self management, into a very serious problem with self care that requires professional treatment.

    Each treatment team consists of a psychiatrist, psychologist, as well as a primary clinician. And all of our group programming is run by social workers here at the hospital. The program is both very structured so our patients will have approximately five to six individual treatment hours a week and at a minimum fifteen group therapy hours. In addition to that our patients will engage in a number of wellness oriented activities so that might be physical therapy, nutrition counseling, yoga, meditation, and so it’s very structured but also very tailored to the individual.

    That’s the main focus on the treatment is giving them, when they leave the copping skills that they need in these areas of self care that they haven’t paid enough attention to when they were, before they came here.

    I think of it as a program that is meeting the needs of this population. So this is more like an intensive care unit. And if we think about it that way, making the investment to come to Steward House can be the most important investment that these people can make in their lives.

Your care team

Our dedicated team of psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, nurses, and counselors are experts in providing professional treatment in a highly confidential and safe environment.

Samuel A. Ball, Ph.D.
203-801-2272

Coming here is a HUGE step for our patients to take, but these disorders can substantially improve with the right treatment.

Samuel A. Ball, Ph.D.

Director of Psychology & Executive Programs

Samuel Ball, PhD is the Director of Psychology and Executive Programs. He leads The Steward House, a collaborative program of Silver Hill Hospital, Yale New Haven Health, and Yale School of Medicine where he is Professor of Psychiatry and Assistant Chair for Education and Career Development. Dr. Ball is a licensed clinical psychologist and national expert in the diagnosis and treatment of substance use disorders (SUD). He has held numerous clinical, educational, and research leadership roles within Yale’s Department of Psychiatry, The APT Foundation, and the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse.

Dr. Ball is an expert in cognitive behavioral therapy, and he also led the national clinician and supervisory training for motivational interviewing in the NIDA Clinical Trials Network. He has worked with numerous community treatment programs to establish evidence-based therapy practices, dual diagnosis services, and clinical trials research. His diagnostic research focuses on the assessment of co-occurring psychiatric disorders among SUD patients, particularly mood and personality disorders. His treatment research focuses on cognitive behavioral and motivational models of psychotherapy for SUD and dual diagnosis patients. He is the developer of Dual Focus Schema Therapy, a specialized treatment for addicted patients with personality disorders and evaluated its efficacy through randomized clinical trials within methadone maintenance, residential treatment, and a homeless drop-in center.

President and Medical Director John Santopietro, MD explains Silver Hill Hospital's clinical soul with the help of his colleagues and former patients.

WATCH CLINICAL SOUL VIDEO
  • A lot of people do have an awareness these days that the mental health system is broken in some way or another. People hear it in the news, they see it in their neighborhoods, a lot of folks see it in their families when they try to get treatment. It's, unfortunately, unusual to find a place like Silver Hill that delivers such high quality care to each individual that comes through our doors.

    I grew up in New Canaan actually, so I am a local, and while I was you know growing up I ran into some difficulties with depression. Everybody I grew up around and everybody seemed to have an idea of where they were supposed to be, and I always felt like I was playing catch up to life, and so that created anxiety, and depression, and fear, and a lot of internalizing all of that, thinking that there was something wrong with me, and that I was broken somehow. Being that I'm from New Canaan I have this amazing resource, Silver Hill. It's ten minutes from my parent’s house, and it was very scary, but it was also very safe, and I think it was the first time I'd felt safe, and taken care of, and protected in a very long time.

    Silver Hill in many ways is a pioneer in coordinated, collaborative healthcare, because what we have on this campus is different levels of care. We have an inpatient level of care both for acute psychiatric illness, as well as medically assisted withdrawal from alcohol, opioids, benzodiazepines, or other medications, and that inpatient level of care is all integrated on the same campus into a setting where when one is done with their inpatient care, she or he can move into the residences where we provide what we call transitional living treatment. Finally, we have outpatient, intensive outpatient programs so some people once they've finished their treatment here can come back and still work with us typically on a three day a week basis.

    We as an organization don't shy away from patients who are complex, who have simultaneously different comorbidities, so they may have more than one psychiatric illness at the same time. They may also have medical illnesses at the same time. Our staff are not only not afraid of complexity, but they are actually energized by it.

    These cases are such that many clinicians are burned out, frustrated. Progress is very, very slow. You have to understand what would make a person want to die, want to not be living anymore, when they sometimes apparently have everything to live for. So to really sit with someone and say, "I understand. If I were in your shoes, I might want to die as well," and start there. Start where they are, start with that hopelessness and slowly, slowly, patiently, lovingly, caringly, collaboratively with the whole team sit with that person and nurse them back to a point where they can say "I want to live."

    We use a term which is clinical soul, and I think it means different things to different people and yet we all love the phrase.

    I mean there's a soulfulness, there's a depth of care, there's a depth of understanding, and there's this amazing team of people that is here to truly help and care for and understand the patient to help them through their healing process.

    And it's that understanding, of sort of, who they are as human beings and what they're struggling with, that guides the selection and the combination of research proven medications and psychotherapy to get them back on track and to get their families in better shape to be able to come together again.

    We are really excited to be launching a new program which is called The Steward House and it is in collaboration with Yale University, both the medical school and Yale New Haven Health System.

    The Steward House is a program for executives and professionals who have problems with mental health and addiction. They can live in this house for about a month and receive a high level of professional treatment to get them back on track, so that they can decide what they're going to do with the next chapter of their life with their family and with their work.

    I would tell other clinicians "Send your patient to us. We can handle it, we can handle it." And I have told my colleagues that your most difficult patient, "Send them to us."

    We are going to take care of you, I was taken care of. This is the beginning of your recovery process whatever that looks like going forward.

    We measure success by not only the reduction in symptoms that's sort of the clinical piece, but also building a life worth living that's the soul.

Fellowship

Yale School of Medicine, Professor of Psychiatry and Assistant Chair for Education and Career Development

Academic Appointment

Professor of Psychiatry

Licensure

Psychologist, State of Connecticut

University of Delaware

Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology

Prior Experience

The APT Foundation, New Haven, Director National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, New York President and CEO

 

Eric D. Collins, M.D.
203-801-2241

I facilitate the work of our doctors, nurses, social workers and other clinicians to make sure we provide world class care.

Eric D. Collins, M.D.

Physician-in-Chief

Eric D. Collins, M.D., likens his facilitator’s role as Silver Hill’s chief medical officer to the athlete on a team who “makes the players around him better.” So his biggest impact on patient outcomes is by “helping the staff to provide the highest quality care.”

Dr. Collins says he builds his team by looking for gifted professionals “with compassion and empathy combined with intelligence and humor; the skill to work with the rest of the treatment team; and the ability to connect with people who are suffering so as to improve their long term capacity to live and function at their best.”

To that end, Dr. Collins focuses on marshalling the vast resources of the hospital – be they intellectual, medical, pharmacologic or empathetic – to throw into the battle each patient is fighting to recover. “It’s about getting something that patients need from wherever it is to wherever they are, in an individualized way,” says Dr. Collins.

Dr. Collins instills in his team what he considers to be the DNA at the core of Silver Hill’s culture: “Safety – because if patients feel safe they can start to do the work that they need to do; Compassion – because you can’t help people who are miserable without finding the compassion for their suffering; and Evidence-Based Excellence – which means adhering to the proven treatments that we know help people to get better.”

Residency

Columbia-Presbyterian/New York State Psychiatric Institute

Fellowship

Research Fellow in Addiction Psychiatry, Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center Clinical Fellow in Consultation Liaison Psychiatry, Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center

Academic Affiliations

Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons

Medical School

Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons

Board Certification

American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology: Psychiatry, Addiction Psychiatry and Psychosomatic Medicine American Board of Addiction Medicine: Addiction Medicine

Susan Mao, Ph.D.

Therapist

Susan E. Mao, PhD is a Therapist for The Steward House at Silver Hill Hospital. Dr. Mao completed her doctoral training at Teachers College, Columbia University and a doctoral fellowship at the Yale School of Medicine. She is trained in cognitive-behavioral, dialectical behavioral, psychodynamic, and family systems therapies and has extensive experience in feminist and multicultural psychology.

Dr. Mao draws on multiple theoretical perspectives to provide integrative person-centered and strengths-based treatment. She has worked with individuals with a wide range of presenting concerns and psychiatric diagnoses including serious mental illnesses and co-occurring substance use and medical disorders. Dr. Mao has provided short- and long-term individual and group psychotherapy as well as brief acute crisis interventions. Dr. Mao’s research focuses on the mental health impacts of oppression, identity-related issues in treatment, and multicultural approaches to research, practice, and training.

Fellowship

Yale School of Medicine

Jill Sweeney, LCSW

Social Worker

Jill Sweeney, LCSW, is a licensed clinical social worker and a primary clinician at The Steward House, one of Silver Hill Hospital’s Transitional Living Programs. Jill completed graduate school at Fordham University, where she specialized in the treatment of substance use disorders. She is trained in cognitive behavioral therapy, trauma-focused treatment, and motivational interviewing. Jill also has received intensive training in dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) and currently facilitates Silver Hill’s DBT Intensive Outpatient Program. Before this, she served as senior residential counselor for Barrett House, Silver Hill’s Transitional Living Programs for women with co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders.

Graduate School

Fordham University

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