United Services Seeking State Assistance to Construct Consolidated Windham Regional Clinic

Dayville, CT –  An annual statewide needs assessment for Eastern Connecticut is calling on the state to make mental health a priority in the region through the funding of United Services Windham Regional Clinical Center.

The 2015 Update for the Priorities and Recommendations for Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services and Supports was submitted recently by the Eastern Regional Mental Health Board (ERMHB), Northeast Communities Against Substance Abuse (NECASA) and the Southeastern Regional Action Council (SERAC). The update was part of a statewide needs assessment the state Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services is required to carry out every two years.

The report states:

“United Services has been waiting years for bond approval in order to begin construction on [its Windham Regional Clinical Center] that would replace its current building, which is grossly outdated and overcrowded. The agency and its staff are working hard to function as an effective team and promote a positive client experience, and are quite successful, despite the many limitations posed by the physical plant. The positivity that staff and management exhibit as they discuss their efforts to get the most out of the building is admirable, but it is disturbing that underpaid nonprofit and their clients are forced to work within such limitations. This enhances the disparity between private nonprofit workers and state workers. It also sends a message to clients of the Windham programs that clients of the behavioral health system are second-class citizens, considering the much newer, more spacious and more welcoming Generations Family Health Center facility just next door.”

A Hartford Healthcare Community Needs Assessment also recently identified Mental Health as the number one health priority in Eastern Connecticut.

The existing USI Willimantic clinic space was constructed in the 1950s and includes space leased from Windham Hospital.  The facility cannot accommodate the existing or expected growth in demand for services, nor accommodate co-located services for children and families, including services offered by the United Services Center for Autism.  Federal Health Care Reform and other government mandates also require that United Services begin offering integrated primary care for clients with Serious Mental Illness, who die, on average, 25 years earlier than the general population due to the additional challenges and complications their treatment requires.

United Services is currently involved in Connecticut’s Behavioral Health Home initiative to provide and manage primary health care and promote wellness initiatives for clients who have incurred high hospitalization costs, seeking to improve the health care of individuals while saving state taxpayers significant dollars.  United Services was also recently competitively selected to implement the InShape pilot project to promote healthy living among many of the clients it serves.

United Services has been requesting state bond assistance for the Windham Regional Clinical Center construction since 2011. The project is shovel-ready and will utilize green building practices. The agency has received support for the project from members of its legislative delegation, Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman and, recently, Congressman Joe Courtney (D-2nd District).

To read the full 2015 Update, click here.

About United Services, Inc.

United Services, Inc. is a private, non-profit and comprehensive behavioral health center, creating healthy communities throughout northeast Connecticut for over 50 years through mental health and social service programs, chemical abuse treatment, domestic violence programs, and community behavioral health prevention and education programs.  With 12 locations and a staff of over 250, United Services operates more than 30 separate behavioral health programs, including the only domestic violence shelter for women and children in the region.  United Services is also the designated Youth Service Bureau in 10 towns within its service area, and its Center for Autism has recently brought specialized treatment and programs for children and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder and their families to eastern Connecticut and surrounding areas.  United Services, Inc. is a 501c3 nonprofit organization.