Wheeler Receives $5-Million Grant for Mental Health Services in Bristol, Hartford, New Britain, Plainville, and Waterbury
Initiative to support and restore clinical services affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Wheeler has received a two-year, $5-million federal grant to expand mental health services for children, adolescents, and adults through its community health centers in Bristol, Hartford, New Britain, Plainville, and Waterbury.
Funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) as one of more than 200 organizations nationwide, the Community Mental Health Centers (CMHC) grant will provide patients with rapid access to behavioral health and other forms of care, outreach, and engagement. Wheeler was one of six awardees in Connecticut.
The Wheeler program will include: the addition of a Behavioral Health Access Team (BHAT) at each Community Mental Health Center site for walk-in crisis and early intervention services and connection to psychiatric services; enhanced referral pathways through partnerships with faith-based and grassroots organizations; after-hours peer support; staff training on behavioral health disparities, engaging diverse populations, and the impact of the pandemic on behavioral health; and expanded self-care opportunities, including wellness and health coaching.
Among the components of the program are connection to evidence-based services, including trauma services and access to primary care through Wheeler’s community health centers; peer engagement; and early intervention/crisis assessment and follow-up. The organization’s behavioral health staff will be trained in health disparities and trauma and will have access to self-care supports. Wheeler will partner with a number of community providers to provide training for behavioral health staff on topics, including cultural and linguistic strategies to engage and retain diverse populations and to address mental health needs.
“The unprecedented pandemic and its resulting effects—uncertainty, social isolation, and economic distress—have had a profound impact on mental health,” said Sabrina Trocchi, PhD, MPA, president and chief executive officer, Wheeler. “In Connecticut, where rates of serious mental illness and thoughts of suicide among young adults are higher than national averages, and where opioid use and overdoses happen at staggering levels among people of all ages, it is essential to put into place supports to help people find hope and a path to health and recovery,” Trocchi added.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is the agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that leads public health efforts to advance the behavioral health of the nation. SAMHSA's mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America's communities.
About Wheeler Family Health & Wellness Centers
Wheeler’s Family Health & Wellness Centers in Bristol, Hartford, New Britain, Plainville, and Waterbury offer integrated primary care and behavioral health care, addiction treatment, and complementary approaches to care.
Wheeler's Family Health & Wellness Centers are funded in part by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), an operating division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Wheeler is a Health Center Program grantee under 42 U.S.C. 254b and a deemed Public Health Service employee under 42 U.S.C. 233(g)-(n).
Medicaid, Medicare, and commercial health insurance welcome. No patient will be denied health care services due to an individual’s inability to pay for services. Improvements to the Family Health & Wellness Center in Hartford are supported in part by the State of Connecticut Nonprofit Grant Program, the Connecticut Health & Educational Facilities Authority, the Maximilian E. and Marion O. Hoffman Foundation, and the Ensworth Charitable Foundation. Additional support is provided by Delta Dental of New Jersey Foundation.