UPMC Altoona Family Based Services
UPMC Altoona - General Mental Health Information
Improves the public's understanding of mental health and mental illness and help people make choices which promote personal mental health, take advantage of opportunities for early detection, develop an awareness of available treatment options and support their ability to deal with mental health problems when they arise. General mental health information/education programs provide information about a wide variety of mental health related diagnoses rather than specializing in a particular area; and may develop and disseminate materials whose objective is to dispel misconceptions about the nature of mental illness, marshal support for people who have a psychiatric disability or behavioral issue and help to remove the stigma that is often associated with mental illness.
501 Howard Avenue
Altoona, PA 16601
Hours: 8:00AM-4:00PM, Monday through Friday
Phone/FAX Numbers
  • (814) 889-3567 Main
  • (814) 889-6548 Fax
  • (814) 381-9897 Other
Intake Procedure: What is the Access Center?
The Access Center is the central point of contact for the Blair County MH/MR/D&A Program to arrange services for persons experiencing mental illness and/or drug or alcohol problems. The Access Center serves all persons receiving county funding, state Medical Assistance and those with private-pay insurance coverage for these services. It also serves as a free source of information and referral.

What Does the Access Center Do?
The Access Center is a telephone-managed center that offers confidential and easy access to the mental health services and drug and/or alcohol services that are offered by county contracted treatment providers.

How Do I Get an Appointment for Treatment?
The Access center does not treat persons, but will determine the type of services needed, and will link consumers with their choice of providers. Generally, triage staff of the Access Center will arrange an appointment for the consumer with the provider of choice at the time of contact. Anyone needing mental health or drug and alcohol services may call the Access Center at (814)889-2279 or (800) 540-4690.

What Do I Need to Say When I Call?
Please be prepared to offer a summary of the problem you or the person you are referring is experiencing. The Access Center staff member, who is clinically-trained, will determine the least restrictive, clinically appropriate level of treatment. The Access Center staff will ask you to choose the provider of that service and will make an appointment for you with that chosen provider.

When you call, please have your insurance information along with demographic (age, gender, etc.) information available. For example, your insurance card or medical assistance card. Services are provided to all age groups and are available on a sliding scale based upon your ability to pay.
Geographical Area: Blair County; surrounding counties
Facility/ADA access: Yes for entrance to building, within building and restrooms.
Service Contact: Christine Bracken-Zernick, Central Point of Contact Supervisor, 814-889-3567, zernickcm@upmc.edu
Services:
  • Mental Health Information/Education
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* The community resource directory information is up to date to the best of our knowledge. However, you should always call the provider to confirm this information and make an appointment. Be sure to confirm payment information with the provider, if payment is required. Pennsylvania 211 does not rate, recommend or endorse any agency. We simply provide information as a public service.
UPMC Altoona Family Based Services
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