Thursday, August 19, 2010

New Community Program Addresses Children's Behavioral Health Issues

submitted by Peg Arico / Middlesex Hospital:

A newly formed partnership program among a group of community organizations will provide early identification of behavioral health needs and early intervention for children during their elementary school years. The key partners in this program, entitled Identifying Children and Responding Early (iCARE), include Middlesex Hospital and its Family Advocacy Program and Center for Behavioral Health, Middletown Public Schools and the Middletown Youth Services Bureau, and the Middletown-based Ministerial Alliance. The new initiative is funded through the Connecticut Health Foundation’s Children’s Mental Health Initiative.

Middletown is one of only four communities in the state to receive funding for this program, which will initially be piloted for children and families of Bielefield School.

“As a school district, we are looking at early intervention as a key to school success,” said Middletown Superintendent of Schools, Michael J. Frechette. “iCARE is able to respond to children’s social and emotional needs, with a focus on prevention and a connection to valuable community resources.”

Bishop William McKissick, president of the Ministerial Alliance, stated, “It is important that families feel connected to their community and their schools. Kids are successful when families are supported.”

According to Terri DiPietro, Director of the Middlesex Hospital Outpatient Center for Behavioral Health, “For many years, the Middlesex Hospital Behavioral Health Department has been committed to providing specialized services to help improve the lives of children and their families. The new iCARE Program will be another valuable resource for the Hospital and its community partners to continue to provide additional support for children and families in need.

The Connecticut Health Foundation is the state’s largest, independent health philanthropy organization dedicated to improving lives by changing health systems. Since it was established in July 1999, the Foundation has supported innovative grantmaking, public health policy research and technical assistance to improve the health of the people of Connecticut.

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