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CHC and its Child Guidance Center of Southern CT Receive $2.5 Million to Expand Early Childhood Behavioral Health Services

Award is largest in CGC’s history

Community Health Center, Inc. and its pediatric behavioral health arm in Fairfield County, Child Guidance Center of Southern Connecticut (CGC), have been awarded $2.5 million to expand access to early childhood behavioral health care services in Connecticut.  The award was made by the Department of Health and Human Services and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) through the agency’s Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Program, with funding from the 21st Century Cares Act.

The new $2.5 million award, to be administered over five years at $500,000 per year, will allow CGC to expand its early childhood services, improving outcomes for children from birth up to 12 years of age. This will include programs for children at significant risk of developing, showing early signs of, or having been diagnosed with a mental illness, and will support increasing access to multigenerational therapy and other services that strengthen positive caregiving relationships.

Through Community Health Center’s Weitzman Institute, the award will support training and education of behavioral health providers, and allow CGC to evaluate the efficacy of its early childhood mental health consultation model currently offered in all publicly funded preschools in Stamford operated by CGC’s partner, Children’s Learning Centers of Fairfield County.

Dr. Jessica Welt, CGC’s CEO and Clinical Director stated, “When developmental delays and mental health challenges are identified and treated early in a child’s life, challenges with academics, social relationships and mental health across the lifespan can be avoided. This funding will enable CGC to not only increase access locally to high-quality mental health care for young children and their families, but will enable our organization to help other communities across Connecticut and nationally to replicate effective early childhood mental health intervention models.”

According to Mark Masselli, Founder/President of Community Health Center, Inc., “Child Guidance Center of Southern Connecticut has been at the forefront of providing mental health services to the children of Fairfield County for nearly 70 years, and this is the largest award in its history. The significance of this funding cannot be overstated as CGC and the Weitzman Institute are poised to expand important and necessary services for children across the state and training for clinicians, at a time when the need could not be greater. “