OLR Research Report

August 22, 2013




By: Katherine Dwyer, Legislative Analyst II

You asked for information about facilities in Connecticut that offer mental health services to teenagers and young adults up to age 25.


Many Connecticut short-term public and private hospitals offer mental health services to teenagers and young adults, according to the Office of Health Care Advocacy. The services range from acute inpatient psychiatric hospitalization for those in need of rapid stabilization to outpatient services.

The Department of Children and Families (DCF) provides children's mental health services while the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) promotes and administers comprehensive mental health services for adults age 18 and older. Both agencies contract with public and private facilities to provide mental health treatment.


DCF offers a variety of mental health programs ranging from institutional care to community-based services. According to DCF, children and families can access state-operated or state-funded community services directly or through referrals from providers in the behavioral health system. Patients are charged for voluntary services on an income-based sliding scale and many of the service providers accept

public and private health insurance. A list of DCF's mental health services is available here: http://www.ct.gov/dcf/cwp/view.asp?a=2558&q=314348

For children requiring institutional care, DCF operates the Albert J. Solnit Children's Center, with campuses in East Windsor (North) and Middletown (South). (These sites formerly housed the Connecticut Children's Place and Riverview Hospital for Children and Youth, respectively.) The North program provides brief treatment, residential care, and educational instruction to children and youth ages 10 through 17. South is the only state-administered psychiatric hospital for children.

DCF supports step-down programs to ease children's re-entry to the community after an inpatient out-of-home stay. For example, extended day treatment and outpatient psychiatric treatment services are available to children who have returned from out-of-home care or, due to mental health issues or emotional disturbance, are at risk of inpatient placement.

Extended day treatment (EDT) programs provide community-based mental health treatment for adolescents up to age 18 who require an intermediate level of care, as defined by the Connecticut Behavioral Health Partnership guidelines. According to DCF, the adolescent must display moderate emotional disturbance and lack of behavioral control that persists for more than six months. An adolescent typically remains at home and attends the program during non-school hours for up to six months. A list of EDT programs throughout the state is available here: http://www.ct.gov/dcf/cwp/view.asp?a=2558&q=314356

DCF-licensed outpatient psychiatric clinics provide community-based behavioral health services to children and adolescents under age 18 who experience a psychiatric disorder and their families to (1) promote mental health and improve functioning and (2) decrease the prevalence and incidence of mental illness, emotional disturbance, and social dysfunction. A list of DCF-licensed outpatient psychiatric clinics is available here: http://www.dir.ct.gov/dcf/Licensed_Facilities/listing_OPCC.asp


DMHAS' Young Adult Services (YAS) division helps Medicaid-eligible young adults age 18 to 25 with major mental health problems transition to the adult mental health system and learn useful skills for adulthood http://www.ct.gov/dmhas/cwp/view.asp?a=2900&q=334784. Most YAS clients have a history of DCF involvement.

YAS provides the following community-based services:

1. Clinical services – Clinical assessment, medication evaluation and management, individual and group therapy, and skills development.

2. Case management – Program staff meet with participants regularly to provide support, develop life skills, and coordinate services to help address their needs and meet their goals.

3. Residential services – Staff provide transition services to clients in their homes or apartments to help them achieve independence.

4. Supportive educational and employment services – Each YAS participant is expected to work or attend an educational program.

Table One depicts DMHAS-funded community mental health centers that provide YAS services:

Table One: DMHAS YAS Services

Community Health Center


Western Connecticut Mental Health Network

Torrington, Waterbury, and Danbury

Capitol Region Mental Health Center


Community Mental Health Affiliates

New Britain

Community Mental Health Center

New Haven and West Haven


Milford and West Haven

Community Health Resources

Manchester and Enfield

River Valley Services


Southwest Connecticut Mental Health Network


Southeast Mental Health Authority


United Service




In addition, DMHAS also operates an inpatient unit at Connecticut Valley Hospital for young adults who need a greater level of psychiatric care.


The following resources are available to provide assistance to those seeking mental health treatment for teenagers and young adults in Connecticut:

Connecticut Clearinghouse Behavioral Health Services directory: https://www.ctclearinghouse.org/Directory/default.asp

National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) – Connecticut chapter:


Network of Care for Behavioral Health:


Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) treatment locator: http://findtreatment.samhsa.gov/MHTreatmentLocator/faces/addressSearch.jspx?state=CT

United Way of Connecticut 2-1-1 Infoline: http://www.211ct.org/referweb/Subcategory.aspx?;;0;;N;0;1982673;MENTAL%20HEALTH%20CARE