Children's Urgent Crisis Centers OpenAugust 23, 2023
Four new Children's Urgent Crisis Centers recently opened throughout the state to help better address the mental health needs of children and teens.
Created by legislation passed last year, the centers function as walk-in clinics for youths and their families experiencing a behavioral health crisis, such as thoughts of suicide or self-injury; feelings of depression, anxiety, or hopelessness.
Addressing children's mental health needs is an ongoing challenge, with these needs becoming even greater due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The four centers are strategically located across Connecticut and are operated by:
- The Village for Families and Children in Hartford
- Yale New Haven Hospital in New Haven
- The Child and Family Agency of Southeastern Connecticut in New London
- Wellmore Behavioral Health in Waterbury.
In addition to offering more immediate access to mental health resources, the centers, licensed by the state Department of Children and Families, are aimed at diverting youths and their families from making visits to often overcrowded emergency rooms to address behavioral health crises.
DCF manages nearly $141 million annually in ongoing state and federal investments to implement and administer an array of community-based programs including among others:
- 24/7 emergency mobile crisis so providers can quickly respond to psychiatric emergencies including at school when a child has an immediate behavioral health crisis rather than schools calling the police.
- ACCESS Mental Health CT, a program in which a pediatrician can consult with a child behavioral health specialist over the phone to assist the pediatrician in diagnosing a behavioral health concern which may include issuing a prescription.
You can read more on Connecticut's new Children's Urgent Crisis Centers in this article by CT News Junkie.