CHR is proud to be the first nonprofit behavioral healthcare agency in Connecticut to meet all of the strict federal criteria associated with certification as a Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC). This national distinction reflects CHR’s longstanding commitment to providing quality, comprehensive care for people of all ages whose lives have been touched by serious mental illness, addiction, trauma and more.

What is a CCBHC?

CCBHCs were established by the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) as part of a national effort to promote comprehensive care that meets the unique needs of individuals with serious mental illness and addictions. Nationally, CCBHCs provide access to 24/7 crisis services, as well as an integrated approach that includes behavioral and physical healthcare services.  Congress funded a grant program to help states and providers implement technology and services to build on this effort.  CHR was the recipient of one of these grants for a total of $4.0 million over two years and is currently applying for a second grant.

CT First

CHR’s initiative with CCBHC funding is called CT First and it is paving the way for a series of innovative ways to expand and enhance services in Connecticut.

CT First has four overarching goals:

  • Enhancing Care for Veterans and Members of the Armed Services: CHR is expanding behavioral healthcare services to veterans, members of the armed forces, and their families through the work of a new Veterans Services Coordinator and in collaboration with the VA. We are training CHR’s staff and the community about the specialized needs of veterans, ensuring that CHR’s services meet the expectations of the VA’s clinical guidelines for service providers


  • Ensuring Rapid Access to Life-Saving Services: CHR is embracing a more responsive approach and making it easier for people to see our clinicians as soon as possible. Similar to an urgent care model, CHR has become accessible by hiring Recovery Coaches in Enfield and Manchester to help educate people about seeking treatment and hiring an APRN to see clients on a walk-in basis, accommodating a wide range of needs including medication management.


  • Improving Care Coordination: With support from CT First, CHR has been able to hire Care Coordinators who are helping clients by linking them with a wide range of medical and other resources – from assuring that people see a primary care doctor to helping people access health insurance and other benefits.


  • Launching Primary Care Services in Enfield: CHR recently launched a family medicine program in Enfield to provide critical health screenings, primary care services and wellness programs for our clients. This is an exciting and needed endeavor as many clients experience health disparities and do not regularly receive primary care services.

In addition, CT First has helped CHR to implement 24/7 mobile crisis services and enhance our technology and data analytics.

What does this distinction mean?

It means that you, our friends and donors, are supporting a non-profit that is on the leading edge of behavioral healthcare innovations, as recognized by SAMHSA. It also means that your generous donations will help us to continue developing life-saving services for children, families and adults in our state


There has been some confusion about the distinction between CCBHCs and Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs). By design, CCBHCs are very different than FQHCs because CCBHCs are focused on meeting the needs of children, families and adults with serious mental illness and serious addictions. FQHCs play a vital role in America’s healthcare system but were designed for a broader swath of the population.

For example, the services required of a CCBHC include:

  1. Crisis mental health services, including 24-hour mobile crisis teams, emergency crisis intervention services, and crisis stabilization.
  2. Screening, assessment, and diagnosis, including risk assessment.
  3. Patient-centered treatment planning or similar processes, including risk assessment and crisis planning.
  4. Outpatient mental health and substance use services.
  5. Outpatient clinic primary care screening and monitoring of key health indicators and health risks.
  6. Targeted case management.
  7. Psychiatric rehabilitation services.
  8. Assertive Community Treatment Team
  9. Peer support, counseling services and family supports.
  10. Care coordination.
  11. Social support opportunities through established models such as clubhouses that provide therapeutic individual and group interactions, assistance with employment, housing and other community recovery supports.
  12. Intensive community-based mental health care for members of the armed forces and veterans, particularly those members and veterans located in rural areas.