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Office of Mental Health

Pilgrim Psychiatric Center

Pilgrim Psychiatric Center

998 Crooked Hill Road
West Brentwood, NY 11717–1087
Driving Directions

Phone: (631) 761–3500

Fax: (631) 761–2600

E–Mail: Pilgrim Psychiatric Center

Employment Opportunities

About Pilgrim Psychiatric Center


In 1927, New York Governor Alfred Smith, with public support, pressed the legislature to appropriate money to obtain a minimum of 10,000 beds needed to relieve overcrowding and treat the increasing numbers of people who would need treatment in a mental institution.

Such a big hospital had to be located out in the country where land was cheap. It had to be as nearly complete and self–sufficient as possible, generating its own electricity, pumping its own water and growing some of its food. One thousand acres in Brentwood was chosen for this to be another farm colony.

Pilgrim State Hospital was created by the Legislature in 1929 and named for Dr. Charles W. Pilgrim, Commissioner of Mental Health in the early 1900s. The hospital officially opened for the care and treatment of patients on 825 acres with 100 patients transferred from Central Islip State Hospital on October 1, 1931. Nine months later, 2,018 patients were hospitalized at Pilgrim. The census rose to its peak in 1954, with 13,875 patients.

Pilgrim was the largest facility of its kind in the world when it was built. The hospital community was independent in that it had its own water works, electric light plant, heating plant, sewage system, fire department, police department, courts, church, post office, cemetery, laundry, store, amusement hall, athletic fields, greenhouses, and farm.

Over time, as increasing numbers of patients were able to be discharged and greater support and services became available in the community, the need for such large facilities to treat the mentally ill was diminished. Following the trend, Kings Park Psychiatric Center and Central Islip Psychiatric Center were consolidated and relocated to the Pilgrim campus in the Fall of 1996. The following Fall, those facilities were merged into Pilgrim Psychiatric Center under one name. Today, Pilgrim reflects the history and best practices for care and treatment of all three facilities and has become a modern health care delivery system serving the mentally ill adults of Long Island.

Self-Assessment Program

Pilgrim Psychiatric Center cares about you. If you have been feeling sad, withdrawn, anxious, stressed, or out of control, we encourage you to take this completely anonymous mental health screening Leaving OMH site. In a matter of minutes, you will learn if how you're feeling, acting or behaving is a symptom of something more serious. You will also get access to treatment resources and referral information for follow up care.

Pilgrim Today

Pilgrim Psychiatric Center provides a continuum of inpatient and outpatient psychiatric, residential, and related services with approximately 278 inpatient beds and 4 outpatient treatment centers plus one ACT Team throughout Suffolk County . The campus includes several residential agencies on the grounds such as Central Nassau Guidance Center and Transitional Services, Charles K. Post, a residential treatment center operated by the New York State Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse, and Phoenix House, a residential treatment center for those with substance abuse diagnosis. Development of the surrounding acreage has been planned for the near future. The campus is within easy access to parkways, public transportation, and local shopping.

Inpatient Services are located in two modern complexes and offer a wide variety of treatment options. The focus of treatment is rapid recovery with symptom reduction, access to programs which develop skills to manage psychiatric illness and better function in the community, and active discharge planning and support for individuals returning to community living. Treatment is provided by multi–disciplinary teams of professional and paraprofessional staff offered in individual and group format. On–ward treatment spaces reflect state–of–the art design and a therapeutic environment. Each ward includes private and semi–private bedroom areas and bathroom facilities, a living room, program room, activity area, and dining room. Off–ward program and recreational space are available within each building.

There are 12 inpatient wards including 3 admission wards, 2 geriatric wards (1 admission), and 7 Psychiatric Rehabilitation wards.

Pilgrim Psychiatric Center is fully accredited by the Joint Commission from September 2016 to September 2019.

Regular Visiting Hours

Monday to Friday: 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Weekends and Holidays: 10 a.m. to noon, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Certain restrictions apply with regard to items brought when visiting patients. Visitors should call the ward personnel prior to the visit for further information on this policy.

Intensive Treatment Unit Visiting Hours

Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Tuesday, Thursday: 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Saturday, Sunday: 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Sunday and Holidays: 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Quality Report

Pilgrim is in full compliance with all applicable Behavioral Healthcare and Hospital Standards effective September 2016 . Pilgrim has also been recognized by The Joint Commission as a Top Performer on Key Quality Measures for 2012. This achievement demonstrates Pilgrim's commitment to assuring that evidence-based interventions are delivered to individuals in the right way and at the right time.
For further information regarding the Quality Report by the Joint Commission, the public may:

To report concerns about patient safety and quality of care, the public can contact Pilgrim's Quality Management Department at (631)761-2912.


We provide a comprehensive array of treatments and services that inspire people with unique mental health needs to experience hope, self determination and success in their lives.


We envision a mental health system that is driven by the goals and aspirations of the people we serve and provides a healing experience through exceptional collaborative treatment.


We believe:

Language Access Services

It is the policy of Pilgrim Psychiatric Center to provide services that are culturally sensitive and linguistically competent. Pilgrim is committed to the planning and provision of treatment services in a manner compatible with patients’ personal values, beliefs, and preferences which reflect their cultural, ethnic, and/or religious heritage.

Effective communication is a vital component in the provision of medical, nursing and ancillary services. At Pilgrim, interactions are empathic and respectful in a manner that is compatible with the individual's cultural health beliefs/practices and preferred language. An individuals's language needs are determined prior to admission. If it is determined that interpretive or assistive listening devices are needed, services are provided during the admission process.

Active Treatment and Program Activities

In addition to on–ward treatment, Pilgrim offers a variety of off–ward locations for treatment, recreation, and programming. Alternate treatment environments are available to address the needs of our patients.

The barn
The greenhouse
Nature Center Greenhouse

The Rehabilitation Center

The Rehabilition Center

The Rehabilitation Center provides centralized space for many off–ward programs. This state–of–the art facility hosts a Swimming Pool, Bowling Alley, Gymnasium, Game Room, Fitness and Exercise Room, and Library and is available daily Monday to Friday, select Evenings, and Saturday Mornings. Classrooms for patient education, treatment groups, ceramic studio, kitchen areas, and meeting space are utilized here. A large Auditorium (capacity 289) is used for staff presentations, conferences, and patient activities. Recent movies are programmed and broadcast weekly for patients' viewing during evening and weekend hours and are also shown for direct viewing on a 22’ long movie theater style screen with surround sound.


The museum

The Long Island Psychiatric Museum is located on the Pilgrim campus and offers a vast collection of memorabilia, artifacts, and photos representing the history of the three Long Island hospitals (Kings Park, Central Islip, Pilgrim) that were active at one time and have since been merged with Pilgrim Psychiatric Center.

The Museum is accessible to the public by appointment only. Hours of operation are limited. For further information, please call (631)761-3805.

Professional Departments Include:

Psychology Internship Program
The Pilgrim Psychiatric Center's Internship Program is accredited by:
American Psychological Association
Commission on Accreditation
750 First Street, N.E.
Washington, D.C. 20002–4242
(202) 336–5979

It is a one year (Sept.– Sept.) experience in an APA accredited program for Doctoral candidates in Psychology which follows an apprenticeship/practitioner model. This internship is designed to provide intensive, experiential training in the core skills of clinical psychology, as applied within a state psychiatric hospital, working with severely and persistently mentally ill patients in the public sector. The population we serve consists mainly of individuals with severe impairments, whose diagnoses include: schizophrenia; affective and anxiety disorders, substance abuse problems, and personality disorders. The intern will work side by side with seasoned clinicians, have a variety of assignments and opportunities to observe and treat serious and persistent mental illnesses, witness the effects of treatment, and assist the patient towards therapeutic re–integration into the community (i.e., discharge). For more information about the Doctoral Psychology Internship Program, see the attached brochure. If you require additional assistance in viewing the document, you can write or call: Telephone: (631) 761–2399 Fax: (631) 761–3770.

Family Support Services:

At Pilgrim Psychiatric Center, the families of our patients are considered an integral part of the treatment process and family involvement is welcome.

The facility provides the following Family Support Services:

Family Advisory Board:

The Family Advisory Board is comprised of a group of relatives of past and present Pilgrim Psychiatric Center patients. The Family Advisory Board meets monthly with the Coordinator of Family Support Services to discuss issues related to overall patient care and treatment. Issues raised by the Family Advisory Board are communicated to the hospital administration. The Coordinator and the Family Advisory Board also plan annual events, such as the Family and Friends Open House, and the holiday gift distribution project.

Family and Friends Center:

The Family and Friends Center is currently located in Building 45, 1st floor. It is a visiting area where patients and their relatives or friends may enjoy a visit in a home–like atmosphere. There is a stereo, televisions, a game table, coffee–maker and microwave oven available for the convenience of families .

Specialty Services for Inpatients

Specialized treatment and services are offered for those patients with varying needs, as follows:

Substance Abuse Services: group and individual counseling assisting individuals to gain knowledge and insight and develop coping skills to manage use of substances that regularly impact on functioning.

Geriatric Services: Age–specific services for individuals age 65 and above reflective of treatment techniques that address changes in physical, psychosocial and cognitive abilities.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT): an inpatient program for individuals with Borderline Personality features that provides individual therapy and group skills training in stress tolerance, emotional regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness.

DBT,S (Substance Abuse): weekly inpatient program emphasizing the use of DBT skills to help in recovery for substance abuse.

Intensive Treatment Unit (ITU): offers short –term specialized services to those patients who require extensive individualized treatment interventions to achieve a state of equilibrium and who require additional safeguards for their personal well–being until they are able to function within a more standard treatment format. Modalities include individual and groups psychotherapies, as well as behavioral programs. After stabilization of the target behaviors, patients are returned to their regular treatment unit. Treatment to individuals who are referred by the court system for observation is also provided.

Bridger Program: this program provides linkage and support for inpatients with long hospital stays when the possibility of discharge becomes imminent. Dedicated "bridger" staff work with patients to enable them to move into the community with greater hope, confidence and an increased probability of success.

Polydipsia Program: a program providing specialized care and treatment for patients who display excessive water drinking, water intoxication, and/or hyponatremia, a potentially life threatening loss of sodium. The focus is on a ward–based token economy system, with additional psychotherapy and psychoeducation to increase knowledge and awareness about the disorder, and behavior therapy to increase skills needed to manage the condition.

CONNECTIONS Program: this program involves consumers who are transitioning from the inpatient to outpatient setting and aims to establish a relationship with the patient necessary to providing effective transitional/community supports which are based on individual needs and recovery goals. Using person-centered planning, program staff meet with the resident for a four-week period. Collaboration between the staff of the Connections Program, residence staff, and client is encouraged and essential to making the successful transition to community living.

Community Services

Pilgrim Psychiatric Center operates a broad range of outpatient services both on campus and throughout the community in Suffolk County. Sites are staffed with psychiatrists, social workers, psychologists, community mental health nurses, rehabilitation and recreation staff, peer specialists, and paraprofessional staff. Services available include: recovery services, treatment services -evaluation, medication, counseling and therapy, vocational services, co-occurring disorder services, life enrichment, peer run services, crisis intervention, psycho-education.

Biannual Family Nights are held at each clinic to offer support from clinic staff and other family members, orientation to services available at our clinics, and education about mental health issues.

For detailed information on intake, treatment and social support services, call the number listed for each location.

Clinic Name Services
Buckman Center
Building 47
998 Crooked Hill Road
West Brentwood, NY 11717
(631) 761–2289
Serving Northwest Suffolk County
Hispanic track providing services in the Spanish language
Western Suffolk Center
Building 56
998 Crooked Hill Road
West Brentwood, NY 11717
(631) 761–2082
Serving Western Suffolk County
Yaphank Center
31 Industrial Blvd.
Medford, NY 11763
(631) 924–4411
Serving Brookhaven Township, Suffolk County
Geriatric track providing services to the Geriatric population.
Assertive Community Treatment Team (ACT)
3 Grove Avenue
Patchogue, NY 11772
(631) 475–7108
Serving Brookhaven Township, Suffolk County
Intensive psychiatric outreach services.
Peconic Center
550 E. Main Street Suite 103
Riverhead, N.Y. 11901
(631) 369–1277
Serving Eastern Suffolk County

Specialty Services for Outpatients

The Intensive Case Management Program provides an intensive level of supervision to those clients who are frequent system users and have specialized needs in the community. This program serves as a support and follows clients throughout outpatient and inpatient admissions.

The Case Management Program is a "step–down" program for those clients who need support to function in the community but do not require the level of intensity provided by the ICM program.

Both Case Management Programs serve consumers in the community but may follow them back into the facility if re–hospitalization becomes necessary.

A crisis Hotline provides 24 hour crisis phone intakes, referrals, and contacts after business hours for psychiatric crisis needs. The Crisis Team operates Monday to Friday, 10 am to 6:30 pm and can be reached by calling the Suffolk County Crisis Hotline @ (631)952-3333.

The Mobile Crisis Teams provide outreach services in Suffolk County for psychiatric emergencies. The Team provides on–site assessment, counseling, referral, and hospitalization, as needed.

The Mobile Integration Team provides community-based treatment and support services by licensed clinicians, non-licensed para-professionals, and Peers. The goal of the program is to: support efforts to maintain the person in his or her natural environment, provide immediate access to treatment services designed to stabilize crisis situations, reduce environmental and social stressors, and effectively reduce demand on emergency departments and inpatient hospital services. The program is designed to provide an intensive level of care that is fully community-based and occurring in the individual’s home environment or another preferred community setting.

Residential Programs

Residential programs range from the semi–independent living of the State Operated Community Residence, to the shorter stay Crisis Residence Units, to the home care of the Family Care program. Each program offers a unique set of advantages to consumers, promoting empowerment and self determination, while ensuring care and safety.

Crisis Residence: This on–campus 17 bed residence provides temporary housing and is an alternative to admission for those consumers who are experiencing housing or other situational crises. Residents receive psychiatric services from Pilgrim's community programs or from other providers as needed.

Family Care: For those consumers who have functional limitations and who need supervision on a continual basis, the homes provided by the Family Care Program offer a family setting. Home services range from a family like setting to the more intensive "personal care" homes for those who need assistance with the most basic aspects of caring for themselves. Homes are located throughout Nassau and Suffolk County.

State Operated Community Residences (SOCR) – sponsored by the New York State Office of Mental Health and Pilgrim Psychiatric Center, eleven residences throughout Nassau and Suffolk County provide transitional placement. Homes range from 10 beds to 24 beds and are supervised by staff 24 hours/day. Services are provided to improve independent living skills and enable individuals to move to a less restrictive setting in the community.

Comments or questions about the information on this page can be directed to the Pilgrim Psychiatric Center.