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.
BHcare is a state-licensed, non-profit behavioral healthcare, prevention and domestic violence services provider serving the Lower Naugatuck Valley, Greater New Haven, Shoreline, and surrounding communities. For more than 30 years, BHcare – through its founding organizations, Birmingham Group Health Services and Harbor Health Services – has been providing hope and help for individuals, families and children affected by mental illness, domestic violence and substance abuse. BHcare offers person-centered, wraparound mental health, domestic violence, substance abuse, prevention, and crisis services that empower those in need to build safe, healthy and independent lives. In 2013, BHcare provided services for more than 14,000 individuals and families. Here are some highlights from last year:
Mental Health Services:
The Umbrella Center for Domestic Violence Services:
Greater Valley Substance Abuse Action Council (VSAAC):
The economic decline had and continues to have a significant impact on the demand for behavioral health services. According to the United Way of Connecticut, last year 2-1-1 received 54,389 calls related to outpatient mental health care and substance abuse services. BHcare relies heavily on funding from the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS), however that funding continues to decrease as the number of those in need increases. Right now BHcare is facing a significant cut in DMHAS grant funding for outpatient behavioral health services.
All domestic violence services are provided completely free of charge. In the last year, UCDVS aided:
Greater Valley Substance Abuse Action Council (VSAAC):
VSAAC is facing a significant budget cut as Federal Block Grants expire and are not renewed. Last year, block grant funding helped to support education and awareness for more than 5,000 youth and adults in our community. VSAAC is working to secure other funding to help continue in its mission. In 2013, VSAAC:
As a local and regional leader in mental health care, rehabilitation, domestic violence and substance abuse prevention services, BHcare continually strives to provide accessibility of services while maintaining the highest level of quality treatment and care. For the thousands of individuals, families and children that we serve each year, this means ensuring that services are available in the communities where they work and live, ensuring that those services are available to those who need them regardless of ability to pay, and empowering consumers to achieve the highest level of recovery with the least amount of long-term supports.
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 President & CEO BHcare
For our most vulnerable citizens, immediate access to community-based services, regardless of ability to pay, is absolutely critical to their survival and their ability to change their lives and those of their children for the better. BHcare works tirelessly to meet that need and expand services to ensure the greatest level of support and care. But the task is not an easy one.
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.
Margaret Y. LivingstonChair, BHcare Board of Directors
Completed evaluation forms are discussed during monthly staff meetings. When there is a pending issue, the Director is notified immediately. The process for evaluating services is relevant and provides valuable feedback about program success as well as identifying gaps in service delivery. The provision of quality services is also an expectation of CDVS' trade organization, the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence and as well as the Department of Social Services who provides quality assurance oversight for Umbrella’s shelter program. A weekly case conference serves as a vehicle for reviewing client successes and determining the need for additional services from providers outside of CDVS. The program is also monitored by the Vice President of Services, the Director of Quality Assurance, and the President CEO of BHcare.
A note from a survivor: I just went to The Umbrella website to find out if the vigil would be held when I plan to come down on the 19th of October. Looks like I'm going to miss it this year. I would have liked to come down to show all the other survivor's that it can be done and that things can get better.
I am working part-time as a reporter and photographer for a local weekly paper and have 'convinced' them into hopefully hiring me full time. I'll know this week.
I would like you to pass along to other survivors struggling that there is a light at the end of this and they will come out beaming. I know because I am one of them. Of course I cannot take all of the credit myself. Because of you, the counselors, and the entire Umbrella Program, I am whole again. Yes, my experience has changed me, as it would change anyone. But instead of choosing to have that horrible experience impact my life negatively, I have chosen to have it affect my life positively. With your help--- along with myself--- I am a stronger woman, I am a more confident woman, and most importantly, a free woman. I am free of fear, free of violence, free of insults and degradation, because I now know, that I deserve it. I will accept no other options. I deserve to be respected, I deserve to be loved, and I deserve to be happy. I am ecstatically happy here and would love it for you to pass along this same hope of happiness to the other women to let them know that it is not only possible, but that it does happen. Patience with yourself and patience in the knowledge that with perseverance, anyone can do this. It's no great instant miracle and I still work through some issues, but with each moment, each day, and each week that passes, I get stronger and better and all that had happened is now floating into a memory that seems a different lifetime ago.
I would like it for you to hold a candle for me at the vigil and know that in my heart, as far away as I am, I am there with you.
The mission of UCDVS, Greater New Haven office is to create an environment that supports individual safety and breaks the cycle of domestic violence. UCDVS offers comprehensive services to victims of domestic violence in a 13 town area in south central Connecticut. All services are free and confidential and include: a 24-hour hotline; 15 bed emergency shelter for women and children; support groups in New Haven, Guilford, and Milford for women who are, or have been in, an abusive relationship; a newly forming support group for friends and relatives of survivors; individual counseling for adults and older teens; advocacy in the criminal court for victims whose partners were arrested for a family violence crime; advocacy in the civil court including help with temporary restraining order applications; and community education and prevention programs for professionals, community groups, and students on the nature and scope of domestic violence, Connecticut’s family violence laws, and other safety resources.
95% of callers to the hotline will feel validated as a result of the hotline counselor’s response to caller’s concerns.
90% of adults who enter shelter will report feeling safer within 48 hours of arrival.
100% of adults who have been residing at the shelter for a minimum of 20 days will name at least two community resources that will help ensure their safety and the safety of their children.
90% of children ages 6-18 who have been residing at the shelter for a minimum of 20 days will name at least two community resources that will help ensure their safety.
75% of attendees at community presentations and staff in-services about domestic violence will demonstrate increased awareness of the issue, including local resources and how to access them.
75% of clients who have used CDVS' programs will have made healthier decisions in their relationships as demonstrated by a reduction or elimination of violence.
VSAAC 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. VSAAC 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 VSAAC’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 VSAAC 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.
BHcare provides outpatient clinical services via our state-licensed outpatient psychiatric and substance abuse facilities located in Ansonia and Branford. BHcare employs an experienced team of psychiatrists, licensed clinical social workers, advanced practice registered nurses, certified alcohol/ drug counselors, and other mental health professionals who provide a wide range of services, including:
The BHcare clinic is accredited through CARF and is a major provider for individuals receiving Medicaid, Medicare and the full range of commercial insurances. For individuals without insurance, a sliding fee scale w/ self-pay arrangements is provided.
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.
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 6 months he gained employment of his choice doing janitorial work at McDonalds. 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.
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.
• The Community Dining Room• The Branford Food Pantry• Clothing Bank – operated by BHcare• Friends of the James Blackstone Memorial Library
BHcare also collaborates with numerous agencies, educational institutions, and community groups. We engage in multiple collaborations to support various programs and initiatives. These agencies/groups include:
· The Valley Council for Health & Human Services
· TEAM, Inc.
· Valley YMCA
· Local United Ways
· Spooner House
· 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.
· Amity Schools or Region 5 schools
· Orange Drug & Alcohol Council
BHcare has a formal collaborative relationship with VNA Community Healthcare to provide in-home psychiatric nursing services to individuals who require assistance with their medications.
Additionally, BHcare is a participant in the New Haven Homeless 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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