May 24, 2024

4 mental health crisis centers for children open in Connecticut

The centers are aimed at diverting children and their families from having to use the emergency rooms to address the crisis.

HARTFORD, Conn. — Gov. Ned Lamont and the commissioner for the Department of Children and Families (DCF) are celebrating the opening of new mental health crisis centers for children in the state. 

Lamont and Commissioner Vannessa Dorantes were part of a ceremony at The Village for Families and Children in Hartford to celebrate the grand opening, operated by the nonprofit agency. 

The four centers were created by legislation Lamont signed in 2022 to address the mental health needs of children and teens. 

DCF licenses the centers and will serve as walk-in clinics, providing children and their families with immediate access to resources while experiencing a behavioral health crisis like thoughts of suicide or self-injury, depression, anxiety, hopelessness, out-of-control behaviors, substance misuse, and other concerns. 

The centers are aimed at diverting children and their families from having to use the emergency rooms to address the crisis. 

The current capacity for the four centers is 72 daily slots. They are located in these cities and operated by:

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 Lamont said children’s mental health is an urgent issue that has to be treated just like any other public health situation.

“These children’s urgent crisis centers are being created to provide an immediate and direct resource to families whenever a behavioral health situation arises among children and teens,” said Lamont. “The centers will provide intensive assessment, stabilization, and ongoing connection to care.”

Dorantes said anyone seeking support is a “sign of strength” and that DCF is grateful for the collaboration to bring these centers to life and realize the needs and support of children and families. 

“This work never stops – we will continue to improve state systems for those we serve,” said Dorantes.

As Connecticut’s lead children’s behavioral health agency, DCF manages nearly $141 million annually in ongoing state and federal investments to implement and administer an array of community-based programs. 

Jennifer Glatz is a digital content producer at FOX61 News. She can be reached at jglatz@fox61.com.  

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