BRIGHTON, N.Y. (WROC) — The University of Rochester Medical Center has opened a new mental health clinic, which is specifically aimed at early intervention in helping teens and young adults who may be at higher risk for the development of a more serious mental illness.

It’s called ‘INTERCEPT,’ which stands for interventions for changes in emotions, perception, and thinking.

The clinic is the first of its kind in upstate New York. Rochester will serve as a hub for more specialized mental health treatment in the adolescent age group.

Located on West Henrietta Road, ‘INTERCEPT’ is a clinic for those ages 15 to 28 and their families who may be experiencing signs or symptoms of what could become, or is a mental health emergency.

Of all the people who could show signs of being at risk, some people at any given point in time are getting better, some people are staying the same, and some are getting worse. So, we of course want to focus on the people staying the same or getting worse because they need the help most,” said Dr. Steven Silverstein, who teaches psychiatry for URMC and serves as the clinic’s director.

His idea was developed in partnership with the Patrick P. Lee Foundation out of Buffalo, which focuses on education and mental health.

The group contributed a grant of more than $750,000 for the initiative.

“As is often the case with mental health, services are often coming after there’s been a crisis and in reaction to something. What was really intriguing about this project was moving further upstream,” said Jane Mogavero, executive director of the Patrick P. Lee Foundation.

Dr. Silverstein says URMC recognized the need for these types of services. Already, he says they have seen inquiries from those in surrounding cities and beyond.

“My hope would be to make people aware in the Buffalo and Syracuse areas, and of course in Rochester, that some of these serious mental health problems can be detected early and even prevented, and that there’s a place nearby people can go to,” said Dr. Silverstein, “These clinics keep increasing. They’re not closing down anywhere. They keep increasing because there is a need in helping people and their families. It’s a good thing to have.”

Leaders say they hope the clinic serves as a starting point, where other cities across New York may adopt similar services to better assist adolescents with mental health needs.

URMC is accepting patients at the new clinic. For more information, visit their website.