Press release from the CT General Assembly
House Minority Leader Vincent Candelora (R, 86) and Senator Christine Cohen (D, 12) on June 23, led praise from state lawmakers who are applauding an expected $5 million allocation from the State Bond Commission on Friday, June 30, to help BHcare, Inc. centralize many of its services for adults and children under one roof at a new facility in North Branford.
“This is great news for BHcare, which offers a spectrum of critical services that produce positive outcomes for both adults and children, and I’m appreciative of the investment Governor [Ned] Lamont and members of the Bond Commission are making in this shovel-ready project,” said Candelora, whose 86th District includes North Branford as well as sections of Durham, Guilford, and East Haven. “Aside from streamlined client services and reduced overhead costs, a new building for BHcare will allow the organization to address growing needs in our region, such as a shortage of services in a growing mental health crisis among children.”
For more than 40 years, BHcare has been designated by the state’s Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) as the local mental health authority for six shoreline towns—Branford, North Branford, East Haven, Guilford, Madison, and North Haven. Each year, the organization serves roughly 15,000 adults and children across its entire network of facilities—3,000 of them from shoreline communities. At its main Branford building alone, BHcare provided upward of 22,000 behavioral health services last year.
The $5 million allocation included on the agenda for the June 30 Bond Commission meeting will go toward construction of a 48,000 square-foot building along Route 139 in North Branford—a project that will allow BHcare to centralize and even grow services that today are spread across several locations. BHcare will occupy roughly half of the space in the new building, and it’s expected that the remaining square footage will be rented to entities that complement BHcare’s services. The entire project is expected to cost $8 million, with BHcare and a private developer investing $3 million combined.
“There is a growing need for mental health and substance use services in our shoreline communities, and this $5 million investment from the state will help BHcare enhance and expand its programming in one accessible facility, to meet that need. We are greatly appreciative of our entire delegation, especially Rep. Vincent Candelora’s leadership and support for the project,” said Roberta J. Cook, President/CEO of BHcare.
“BHcare has been providing vital services to clients throughout the 12th Senate district for many years,” said Sen. Cohen. “Ensuring that they have the ability to deliver wrap-around care in the areas of domestic violence, substance abuse, and mental health will foster healthier families and communities. A big thank you to Governor Lamont and the Bond Commission for recognizing this important need and approving these funds that will go towards creating a cohesive, safe space for residents across the area.”
Candelora and Cohen credited other shoreline-area legislators for their support of the effort to secure a Bond Commission allocation for the BHcare project, including state Sen. Paul Cicarella and state Representatives Dave Yaccarino, Joe Zullo, Moira Rader, Robin Comey, and John-Michael Parker.
The Bond Commission meeting is set for Friday, June 30, at 10:30 a.m., in Room 1E of the Legislative Office Building in Hartford.
BHcare’s staff includes therapists, psychiatrists, APRNs, primary care physicians, nurses, medical assistants, case managers, peer and recovery specialists, and housing and employment specialists. Having all of those workers in one facility would help the organization to fully implement team-based integrated care, not only improving the client experience but also the environment for staff.
Headquartered in North Haven, BHcare is also designated by DHMAS as a Regional Behavioral Health Action Organization for 36 municipalities. Additionally, it’s the domestic violence services provider for 19 cities and towns in the greater New Haven area, including several shoreline communities. BHcare also provides services in the lower Naugatuck Valley. Learn more about the organization at bhcare.org