Mental Health

Resources & Referral Services

(Please see resources below for the following topics: Emergency Access to Help, Pediatric Acute Care, Treatment Facilities, and Groups, Mental Health Information relating to COVID, and Mental Health Glossary)

Anxiety Treatment Center of Greenwich 

Catholic Charities Behavioral Health Provides affordable and accessible mental health services to individuals and families.

Child Guidance of Lower Fairfield County   Staff of psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers and clinicians offering a broad range of individualized mental health assessment and treatment services.

Child Mind Institute  Expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of children and adolescents with emotional, behavioral, and learning problems.  

Children and Family Institute Interdisciplinary behavioral health/cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) clinical dissemination practice and training institute.

Family Centers Specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of anxiety disorders in children and adolescents, starting as young as age 2.  Can provide therapy and medication management.   

Healthy Lives, CT Provides information and tools for maintaining or regaining wellness in the areas of emotional wellnessphysical wellnessholistic wellnessfinancial wellness, and recovery from addiction issues.  The site also includes self-screening tools for mental health and addictions which are anonymous and confidential.

Kids in Crisis  Provides emergency shelter, crisis counseling, and community education programs for children of all ages and families facing crisis. 

Laurel House, Inc. Provides mental health resources to people coping with mental illness, and their families, across numerous communities in and around Connecticut.  

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) The nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness.

NAMI Connecticut Organization

Resources to Recovery A robust array of integrated services and expertise helping people along the path of mental health recovery.

Sasco River Center Specialists are able to provide: individual, group and family therapy; social skills groups; medication management; speech and language therapy; comprehensive diagnostic assessments; academic tutoring; life skills coaching and vocational guidance; executive functions coaching; parent guidance and in-home coaching; and nutritional counseling.

Youth Mental Health Project. Educate, empower, and support families and communities to better understand and care for the mental health of our youth.  Collaboration between Mental Health Project and Laurel House / Resources to Recovery. Parent Support Network


Emergency Access to Help

911 Emergency Services, including Police, Fire, Rescue, and Ambulance. Can transport to Stamford or Norwalk, if needed.

211 United Way 2-1-1 is a free health and human service information and referral helpline. Calls are answered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and there is mobile crisis intervention within limited hours.  2-1-1 is certified by the American Association of Suicidology for crisis intervention and accredited by the Alliance of Information and Referral Systems.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255); En Español 1-888-628-9454  The Lifeline is a free, confidential crisis hotline that is available to everyone 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The Lifeline connects callers to the nearest crisis center in the Lifeline national network. These centers provide crisis counseling and mental health referrals. People who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have hearing loss can contact the Lifeline via TTY at 1-800-799-4889.

Crisis Text Line Text “HELLO” to 741741 The Crisis Text hotline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week throughout the U.S. The Crisis Text Line serves anyone, in any type of crisis, connecting them with a crisis counselor who can provide support and information.

Emergency Departments:

Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital Emergency Department

Greenwich, Norwalk, Stamford Emergency Departments (Check for pediatric providers.)


Pediatric Acute Care, Treatment Facilities, and Groups

Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital, New Haven, CT

Silver Hill Hospital, New Canaan, CT

St. Vincent’s Hospital Behavioral Health, Westport and Bridgeport, CT

Four Winds Hospital, Katonah, NY

Sasco River Center A range of psychotherapeutic services to children, adolescents, adults, families, and couples, including group therapy.

Child Guidance Psychotherapy groups that include: Co-Ed Social Skills Group, Middle School Boys Group, Co-Ed High School DBT Skills Group, and Coping with COVID Groups for Parents/Caregiver, High School 9-11th Grade, and High School Seniors.


Mental Health Information relating to COVID

NIH National Institute of Mental Health

CDC Coping with the Stress of COVID

National Association of School Psychologists Guide for Parents on how to help children cope with changes from COVID-19

Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) Supporting Social Emotional Needs during COVID

Child Mind Back-to-School Anxiety During COVID How to help kids handle fears and gain independence

Understood Back-to-School Anxiety in Kids: What to Watch Out For This Year

AFIRM: Supporting Individuals with Autism through Uncertain Times


The following provides more generalized information regarding overall social, emotional, and mental health issues for families.   If you have any concerns about your child, please seek help from a professional.

Parent Handout for Dealing with Anxiety in School and at Home

Parent Handout for Dealing with Depression in School and at Home

Guide for Parents to take care of themselves

How to Support Children’s Mental Health (Tips for Parents and Educators)

Recognizing the Signs of Mental Illness

Mental Health Glossary

Adjudicated Minor

            In the psychiatric settings, often refers to patients who have been sent to treatment by a court.  Usually, this is related to an illegal substance abuse issue.

APRN, Advanced Practice Psychiatric Nurse

            A health care professional licensed to practice as a specialist in psychiatric-mental health nursing.  They can prescribe medication with or without oversight depending on state licensing requirements.

Adventure Therapy

Adventure therapy promotes rehabilitation, growth, development, and enhancement of an individual’s physical, social, and psychological wellbeing through the application of structured activities involving direct experience. 

Animal / Pet / Canine / Equine Therapy

Animal-assisted therapy uses dogs or other animals to help people recover from or better cope with health problems, including mental health disorders.  It may involve simple interaction with the animal or full responsibility of care and training.

Biofeedback Therapy

            Treatment in which patients learn to control bodily processes that are normally involuntary, such as muscle tension, blood pressure, or heart rate.  Anxiety relief is a common application of this type of therapy.

CBT, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

            A form of psychological treatment that has been demonstrated to be effective for a range of problems including depression, anxiety disorders, alcohol and drug use problems, eating disorders and severe mental illness.  Generally focuses on thinking patterns, learned behaviors, and coping skills.

Creative and Expressive Arts Therapy

Includes Art, Yoga, Drama, Poetry and Music Therapy.  Combines psychology and the creative process to promote emotional growth and healing. Taps into inborn desire to create as a therapeutic tool to help initiate change. 

DBT, Dialectical Behavior Therapy

A treatment approach that improves ability to regulate emotions, tolerate distress and negative emotion, be mindful and present in the given moment, and communicate and interact effectively with others.  DBT treatment typically consists of individual therapy sessions and DBT skills groups. 

Disability for Psychiatric Disorders 

If you have significant emotional, psychiatric, or brain-related problems, you could get disability benefits, even as a minor.   You may need to seek advice from a legal professional.

Dual diagnosis

The condition of suffering from a mental illness and a comorbid substance abuse problem.  Typically requires more specialized care facilities.

Education Consultant

Experienced professionals who connect students, teachers, and schools to increase chances for student success.  One focused on special education may help to develop Individual Education Plans (IEPs) for students with special needs. They can identify reasonable academic targets for students and help determine what students need in order to succeed in school.  They may or may not have a variety of professional degrees.

Education Lawyer

            A legal professional that provides advice and representation in the following areas:  student safety and discipline, civil rights, education reform, school governance and privacy, and special education.  Lawyers can also help with EPOAs (Education Power of Attorney), a tool that authorizes a person, usually the parent, to handle tasks in the education setting that are not essential to the young adult’s learning process in course work and other learning activities.  It is used after the age of majority and works in a similar manner to Medical POAs and Financial POAs.

Family Therapy

            Family therapy is a type of psychological counseling (psychotherapy) that can help family members improve communication and resolve conflicts usually provided by a psychologist, clinical social worker or licensed therapist. Family therapy is often short term. Family therapy sessions can teach you skills to deepen family connections and get through stressful times, even after you’re done going to therapy sessions.

Group Therapy

            Engaging in therapy with several individuals, facilities by a mental health professional. 

Individual Therapy

            Receiving treatment one on one with a mental health professional.

Inpatient

Inpatient settings involve an overnight or longer stay in a psychiatric hospital or psychiatric unit of a general hospital. This provides treatment to more severely ill mental health patients, usually for less than 30 days.  Can be used to stabilize medications or manage medication changes.  

LCSW, Licensed Clinical Social Worker

            LCSWs have the ability to provide psychotherapy to their clients, however, their training focuses on connecting their clients with the skills and resources needed to meet their needs.  They cannot prescribe medication.

NeuroPsych Evaluation

Evaluates functioning in a number of areas including: intelligence, executive functions (such as planning, abstraction, conceptualization), attention, memory, language, perception, sensorimotor functions, motivation, mood state and emotion, quality of life, and personality styles. The areas addressed in an individual’s evaluation are determined by the referral question (what the referring doctor and patient wants to know), patient’s complaints and symptoms, and observations made during interview and test administration.  It is given by a licensed clinical or school psychologist (with a Psy. D. or Ph. D. degree) who has also completed a two-year fellowship in neuropsychology.

Outpatient

Outpatient care can involve one or more mental health services that don’t require a prolonged stay in a facility. Treatment provided in Outpatient care helps patients learn to cope with stressors and manage their mental health. These services can include counseling, group therapy, medical consultations, and psychiatry.

Partial Hospitalization

A structured mental health treatment program that runs for several hours each day, three to five days per week. Clients participate in the scheduled treatment sessions during the day and return home at night.  

PsychEd Evaluation

Assessment that evaluates underlying mental processes impacting educational, workplace achievement and life management abilities.  The cognitive processes indexed by these tests include attention, concentration, processing speed, working memory, reasoning, novel problem-solving, language and spatial abilities, memory, and executive functions, like planning and organizing.  Academic areas may also be tested.

The testing that is used can be extensive, focused on specific areas of concern.   A description of testing instruments can be found separately. 

Psychiatric residential treatment facility (PRTF)

Out-of-home psychiatric care to children, adolescents, and young adults in a non-hospital, highly structured setting.  Serves clients whose mental health needs require more intensive treatment than can be provided in a community outpatient setting.  Often uses a multimodality therapy.

Psychiatrist, MD

            A medical practitioner specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness.  This person can prescribe medication.

Psychologist

            Professionals thatassess, diagnose, and treat the psychological problems and the behavioral dysfunctions resulting from, or related to, physical and mental health.  Usually cannot prescribe medication.  

Psychopharmacology

             The study of the use of medications in treating mental disorders; can use genetic testing to elucidate appropriate therapies.   

SW, Social Worker

SW are involved with individuals, families, groups, and communities in an effort to enhance social functioning, self-reliance and overall well-being.

Therapeutic Boarding School

             A residential school offering therapy for students with emotional or behavioral issues.  Examples include Glenholme School, Wellspring/ArchBridge, and Grove.

Therapeutic Day School 

Therapeutic day schools serve students who have emotional, behavioral and educational challenges that prevent them from being successful in the public school setting.  Examples include Spire, Westport Day, and Newport Academy.

Token Economy

            A token economy rewards good behavior with tokens that can be exchanged for something desired.  Token economies are based on the principles of applied behavior analysis (ABA) and emphasize the use of positive reinforcement to target behavior change.  A token can be points, stickers, small prizes or treats, etc..

Transporter

            Professional agents nationwide that have the knowledge and training to ensure behavioral health patients remain safe and supported between treatment locations.  Usually from an acute care / stabilization stay to a residential, wilderness, or other treatment program.  


Wilderness Therapy

            Wilderness therapy (also known as outdoor behavioral healthcare) is an adventure-based therapy treatment modality for behavior modification and interpersonal self-improvement, combining experiential education, individual and group therapy in a wilderness setting.  Participants live in a wilderness environment during treatment.