BHcare was formed in 2012 through a merger that united the resources of Birmingham Group Health Services in Ansonia and Harbor Health Services in Branford. BHcare, through its founding organizations, has a more than 30 year history of providing community-based behavioral health services for residents of the Lower Naugatuck Valley and Shoreline communities. BHcare services are person-centered and recovery-based, they provide the individual with the tools and skills needed to accomplish their goals. BHcare is accredited by CARF, the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities. CARF accreditation is the highest level of accreditation awarded for outpatient mental health, substance abuse and employment services.
For more than 30 years, BHcare has been on the forefront in providing evidence-based, best practice behavioral health services. We have developed a comprehensive system of care that includes individual and group counseling, supervised and supported housing, employment services and social rehabilitation, crisis services and jail diversion. BHcare is dedicated to treating the whole person and now offers onsite primary care and tobacco cessation counseling.
BHcare's forward-thinking strategic direction has laid inroads for strengthening and expanding its mission by embracing and integrating addiction, substance abuse prevention/education and domestic violence services into the organization in order to keep these much-needed services vital and strong in the community.
In April 2009, BHcare expanded its domestic violence services into Greater New Haven and the shoreline when it consolidated Domestic Violence Services of Greater New Haven (DVS) into the organization, expanding not only the service area, but also providing a safety net for approximately 7,000 women/men and their children.
In 1996, the Board of Directors voted to merge Valley Substance Abuse Action Council (VSAAC), into the organization to ensure VSAAC’s survival and strengthen its capacity to meet community needs. Under the strategic direction of the Board of Directors, VSAAC has been extremely successful in its mission to reduce use and abuse in alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs/substances; it has grown to provide services/programs to more 130,000 youth and adults. In May 2010, due to the dissolution of South Central CT Regional Action Council, the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services redistricted New Haven and five surrounding cities and towns into VSAAC’s service region.
Guided by BHcare’s vision and mission, the Board of Directors helped to build agency capacity, efficiency and effectiveness by integrating these services and enabling them to not only survive, but thrive.
Thanks to the generosity of donors, private foundations, and corporate supporters, BHcare provided behavioral health, domestic violence and prevention services for more than 17,000 people. And now with the addition of the Parent Child Resource Center, BHcare is providing services for more than 1,200 children.
Last year BHcare provided specialized treatment and care for more than 3,300 adults who are working to recover from serious mental illnesses like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depression. Services include group and individual therapy, medication management, on-site primary care, employment services, case management, housing assistance, crisis services, supportive and supervised housing. BHcare behavioral health programming allows individuals with serious mental illness to remain living safely and independently in the community.
Last year with your support, BHcare’s The Umbrella Center for Domestic Violence Services (UCDVS) provided court-based advocacy for 3,598 individuals, emergency shelter for 143 women and 151 children, and counseling and support on 3,286 hotline calls and 367 LAP line calls from police officers. UCDVS trainers provided outreach and education for more than 1,000 people. Thanks to donors like you, all domestic violence services are provided completely free of charge.
BHcare provides prevention education through its Alliance for Prevention and Wellness (APW) (formerly VSAAC). APW offers a variety of interactive workshops and presentations for youth and adults that address substance abuse, mental health, suicide and risky behaviors, APW trainings serve to help parents, children and the larger community become better equipped to deal with harmful substances and issues in their everyday lives. In 2015, APW provided information, training, and presentations to more than 5,015 youth and 2,406 adults. Thanks to donors like you, APW celebrated its 25th year of providing education and wellness services in 2015.
More than 3,300 people rely on BHcare for mental health and addiction treatment; these individuals are struggling with chronic illnesses like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depression. When serious mental illnesses are left untreated, they can result in devastating symptoms that lead to psychiatric crisis, and public health and safety hazards.
BHcare’s behavioral health services rely heavily on State funding and last year, due to constraints at the capitol, our funding was reduced by nearly $500,000, forcing us to reduce the number of clients we can treat in our clinics by five percent (211 people). BHcare is seeking individual, corporate and foundation donors to help us continue providing critical behavioral health services in your community.
BHcare needs your help to provide around-the-clock domestic violence services. Your donations to UCDVS literally save lives. Your support provides safe shelter, counseling, advocacy and support for more than 6,000 women and children who are fleeing abuse and working to rebuild their lives.
Early intervention and prevention are absolutely essential for building health communities. With your support, youth, parents and professionals can learn about addiction prevention, suicide prevention, and mental health first aid. Support APW (formerly VSAAC) programming and you’ll help build a healthy and safe future for your community.
Alliances, partnerships and mergers of like-minded organizations (such as our partnership with CommuniCare, Inc.) have played a critical role in our success, while fundraising initiatives and private donations have enabled us to continue providing crucial services and address ever-evolving community needs. However, with drastic reductions in state funding and healthcare reform mandates, we need your support to ensure the stability and strength of this vital organization that brings help and hope to those at risk and in need.
Please support BHcare and giveGreater.org. Together, we can make a true and measurable difference in thousands of lives!
Roberta J. Cook
As Chair of the BHcare Board of Directors, I am privy to the profound effect that the organization has had on the health and well-being of individuals and families in our community. Women and children who have fled for their lives in the middle of the night have found safety and support at our emergency domestic violence shelters. Individuals overcome by debilitating depression have found hope and strength at our outpatient clinics, and families shattered by substance abuse have been restored with help from our co-occurring disorders program.
For our most vulnerable population, immediate access to community-based services, regardless of ability to pay, is absolutely critical to their recovery. BHcare works tirelessly to meet that need and expand services to ensure the greatest level of support and care.
However, the task is not an easy one and the challenges facing BHcare are numerous, including decreases in government funding, staggering increases in service demands, dwindling volunteer and donor bases, and rising costs of doing business. Thus far, proactive and forward-thinking leadership, collaborative initiatives, and tremendous community involvement and support have enabled BHcare to weather these trials and continue to grow. But each day brings new challenges that threaten our existence.
I have been honored to lend my experience and expertise to help build and strengthen this dynamic and vital organization that continues to make a true and measurable difference to those in crisis. Please join me in my commitment to ensuring the stability and longevity of BHcare so that help will always be available to those who need it – when they need it most.
Michael Gulish Chair, BHcare Board of Directors
BHcare is designated by the CT Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services as the Local Mental Health Authority for residents of Ansonia, Branford, Derby, East Haven, Guilford, Madison, North Branford, North Haven, Oxford, Seymour, and Shelton.
UCDVS serves the towns of Ansonia, Beacon Falls, Derby, Orange, Oxford, Seymour, Shelton, New Haven, West Haven, East Haven, North Haven, Hamden, Milford, Bethany, Orange, Woodbridge, Branford, North Branford, Guilford, and Madison.
APW serves the towns of Ansonia, Derby, Oxford, Seymour, Shelton, Bethany, Orange, Woodbridge, Milford, New Haven, and West Haven.
BHcare’s The Umbrella Center for Domestic Violence Services (UCDVS) is dedicated to increasing awareness of domestic violence and its effect on the community, empowering those victimized by providing advocacy and safe and effective services, and to working for social change to eliminate domestic violence. UCDVS offers a 24-hour hotline, individual and group counseling, advocacy, information and referrals to local providers, children’s counseling, and general support. UCDVS now offers long-term clinical and support services for high risk victims of domestic violence. All services offered are free of charge and confidential. Services support 170 different languages 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. UCDVS supports residents of 19 towns in the Greater New Haven and Lower Naugatuck Valley regions.
In 2015 UCDVS provided safe shelter for 143 adults and 151 children, court-based advocacy and support for 3,598 individuals and families, and fielded 3,268 crisis calls via the hotline. Each year UCDVS provides community education for more than 1,000 individuals and groups.
75% of program participants will have made healthier decisions in their relationships as demonstrated by a reduction or elimination of violence.
UCDVS conducts pre and post tests to track gains in clients’ knowledge on issues of safety, strategies, and resources. Information is collected and included on quarterly reporting forms required of the program’s trade agency, the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence (CCADV). The program is evaluated by CCADV every other year on 75 program standards adopted by the membership. UCDVS scored 100% compliance on its last audit in July 2014. In addition, the State Department of Social Services (DSS), which provides partial funding for the program’s hotline and safe houses, has established outcome measures to evaluate program effectiveness. UCDVS has successfully met these standards and submits a narrative report every six months regarding program activities that include community outreach efforts and established outcome measures.
UCDVS submits a quarterly narrative and statistical report to CCADV which measures quantitative and qualitative goals based on program standards. Regular in-house individual supervision and staff meetings ensure proper case coordination.
APW has been essential in the development of 2 youth service bureaus, a regional juvenile review board, and instrumental in working with towns to obtain targeted juvenile delinquency funding. They also cultivated a pro-active response to the growing concern over prescription pill abuse through beginning the first drug take back program, partnering with police to install medication disposal boxes, partnering with a large educational company to provide a medical education symposium on prescription pill abuse in which more than 200 medical providers attended. APW was also essential in a CDC funded study with Rhode Island Hospital and Brown University in regards to the high rate of accidental overdoses in the Lower Naugatuck Valley. They were asked to assist because of our connections in the community and data driven programming. As a result of APW’s programming throughout the last 8-10 years, the Valley region has experienced a steady decline in alcohol and drug abuse as well as cigarette smoking among youth. For example past 30 day use of alcohol decreased from 31.2% in 2009 to 16.6% in 2011 amongst 9thgraders (n=896).
BHcare’s APW was one of the first agencies in CT to embrace the Mental Health First Aid training model. This program is now being recommended by the President of the United States and well as CT legislators as a training program to help teachers and staff recognize signs of mental illness in young people and refer them to treatment. In the past 3 years, BHcare certified instructors have certified more than 300 residents / employees in MHFA our communities.
Our outpatient services provide individual and group therapy to help individuals build on their strengths and improve their overall quality of life.
Vignette: Janice is a 28 year old Caucasian female who has been seen in the clinic for almost 2 years. On admission, she had been living on the streets for 18 months and reported a long history of substance abuse, mental health issues and trauma. On admission, she was seen by a board certified psychiatrist and placed on medication for bipolar disorder. While she had always felt her moods go “up and down” this was the first time she received pharmacological intervention. Janice was also admitted into the clinic’s co-occurring intensive outpatient program where she was seen three times a week, three hours a day for 4 months. During this time, she was able to get connected to AA and with the help of case management, move into a supported residential treatment for people with mental health and substance abuse disorders. She is now working 20 hours a week with full benefits.
BHcare knows that employment is integral to an individual’s recovery from mental illness, addictions or other disabling conditions. The goal is achieving productive employment in the community. Services include situational assessments, job seeking skills training, on-the-job and job-related supports, vocational counseling, resume and interview preparation, and ADA consultation.
BHcare’s social rehabilitation counselors provide clients with opportunities to develop social skills that enhance their contributions to their communities. Social rehabilitation services provide social, recreational and psycho-educational programs that support the development of life skills, interpersonal skills, and independent livings skills.
Example: A man with a psychiatric disability entered employment services in 2007. He learned how to use a computer, as that is how most jobs are applied for, and created a resume. He then attended Job Club where he gained confidence and interview skills. In six months he gained employment of his choice doing janitorial work at McDonald's. In addition he lost 100 pounds, gained new friends, and maintained strong linkages with his family. He continues at the same job today with no support from agency staff.
1. At least 60% of clients will maintain or increase the level of independence in living situation from admission to discharge.
2. At least 80% of clients will be living in stable housing at the time of discharge.
3. At least 75% of clients will maintain or increase their level of functioning between time of admission and time of discharge, or will maintain or increase their level of functioning over a six-month period as measured by MGAF.
Roberta assumed the role of President/CEO of BHcare in July 2013, she served as CEO since January 2012. Roberta was President/CEO of Harbor Health Services, for six years prior to the merger to form BHcare. She was the Chief Financial Officer for Harbor Health from 1993 to 2005, and before that she worked for R.J. Carabetta & Company as a staff accountant.
Roberta earned her CPA in 1993, and her BS in Business Administration and Accounting from Western New England College in 1985. Roberta is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Connecticut Society of Certified Public Accountants. She serves on the Board of Directors for CommuniCare, Inc., the Board of Incorporators for Guilford Savings Bank, and was appointed to the Governor’s Cabinet on Health and Human Services in 2011.
Under Roberta's leadership and guidance, BHcare has developed into a $19 million organization that is providing treatment, care and support for more than 13,000 individuals and families in Connecticut.
Mary Nescott holds a Master of Public Health Degree and has more than twenty years of experience as a behavioral health administrator in non-profit organizations. Her areas of expertise include licensing and regulatory compliance, privacy practices, research/data analysis and program evaluation.
BHcare is a partner agency in the Patricia C. Andriole Volunteer Services Center (VSC) in Branford. The VSC is a social service resource where those who are in need can find hot meals, food staples, clothing, books and fellowship all in one central location. VSC clients may also obtain referrals to other support services in Branford and beyond including counseling, medical care, emergency housing, and other essential social services. The VSC houses The Community Dining Room, the Branford Food Pantry, the BHcare Clothing Bank and Friends of the James Blackstone Memorial Library.
BHBHcare collaborates with numerous agencies, educational institutions, and community groups including:
Greater New Haven Opening Doors
CT Coalition to End Homelessness
Partnership for Strong Communities
Coordinated Access Network
Guilford Human Services Council
The Valley Council for Health & Human Services
United Way of Milford & Valley United Way
Local schools and universities
The Consultation Center
Local Police Departments
Women & Family Life Center
Milford Sexual Assault Services
New Haven Court Family Services
West Haven Youth and Family Services
Woodbridge Youth and Family Services
Milford Prevention Council
The Connection, Inc.
Orange Drug & Alcohol Council
Indirect Public Support HelpIndirect public support represents revenue received through solicitation campaigns. This includes funding United Way and other federated fundraising organizations, but does not include donor designated contributions.
Earned Revenue HelpEarned revenue represents income generated in direct exchange for a product or service.Earned income includes income from government contracts.
This profile, including the financial summaries prepared and submitted by the organization based on its own independent and/or internal audit processes and regulatory submissions, has been read by the Foundation. Financial information is inputted by Foundation staff directly from the organization’s IRS Form 990, audited financial statements or other financial documents approved by the nonprofit’s board. The Foundation has not audited the organization’s financial statements or tax filings, and makes no representations or warranties thereon. The Community Foundation is continuing to receive information submitted by the organization and may periodically update the organization’s profile to reflect the most current financial and other information available. The organization has completed the fields required by The Community Foundation and updated their profile in the last year. To see if the organization has received a competitive grant from The Community Foundation in the last five years, please go to the General Information Tab of the profile.
A healthy community is a rich community. When we enjoy good health, when we engage in wellness activities – and when we support people living with disease or disabilities -- there are profound physical and psychological benefits. Simply put, we are all stronger and happier. To support the health and wellness initiatives in your community is to put good health within reach of all.
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