More than 150 staff, funders, and community leaders celebrated at CMHA's annual meeting on October 20 at Casa Mia at the Hawthorne in Berlin, CT.

The event featured the election of new board of directors members and officers, Partner in Recovery award presentations, and guest speaker Ann Baldwin of Baldwin Media.

Partner in Recovery award recipients included US Senator Richard Blumenthal for his work to combat the opiate crisis in Connecticut; US Senator Chris Murphy for his partnership in advancing mental health legislation; the Petit Family Foundation for their continued funding of programs to treat clients affected by trauma; Hartford Steam Boiler, Adapt Pharma, and Mohawk Northeast for their sponsorship of CMHA’s 2016 Run for Recovery; and local stylists Travis Angelo and Taramarie Nocera for providing Haircuts of Hope for CMHA clients.

Click here for more photos.

annual meeting2016

CMHA President & CEO Ray Gorman, Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) Commissioner Miriam Delphin-Rittmon, and US Senator Richard Blumenthal.

CMHA's Family Based Recovery program is pleased to announce its participation in the Connecticut Family Stability Pay for Success (PFS) project, an innovative new program that will help 500 Connecticut families with young children who are in need of services to help ensure family stability and keep young children at home with their parents.  The Connecticut Family Stability Pay for Success program will combine nonprofit expertise, private funding, and independent evaluation to promote family stability and reduce parental substance abuse for families in the Department of Children and Families (DCF) system.

Funded by the Connecticut DCF, CMHA’s Family Based Recovery (FBR) program provides in home substance abuse treatment for families who are struggling with addiction and have a young child(ren) at home. FBR teams currently serve clients in Danbury, Meriden, New Britain, Torrington, and Waterbury.  Through the Connecticut Family Stability Pay for Success Program, CMHA will hire two (2) additional FBR Clinical Teams to work with clients in the Waterbury, Torrington and Danbury areas.  FBR Clinical Teams visit their clients’ homes several times per week to develop trust, help keep parents sober and substance-free, address underlying parental issues such as depression and trauma, and help parents create strong bonds with their children.  FBR empowers parents to take charge of their lives and helps them become better parents to keep children at home.

“Family Based Recovery is a model that works. Our data shows that within five months of stay in the FBR program, 70% of clients have stopped using illegal drugs. Considering that close to 30% of our mothers were using opioids during their pregnancy – this is a phenomenal outcome,” said CMHA Vice President of Planning and Performance Improvement Marie Mormile-Mehler.

Through the PFS model, the government repays private investors only if the program meets predetermined outcomes. An independent evaluator, UConn Health Center, will measure the effects of the program that demonstrate a return on investment based on specific metrics that benefit both individuals and society. Previous research conducted by Yale Child Study Center, the FBR model originator, shows that FBR is highly effective in reducing parental substance abuse, improving parent child relationships, reducing parent stress and keeping families together.  Yale Child Study Center will continue to have the lead role in providing training and consultation to new FBR teams in the model.

CMHA’s staff and FBR clients joined others around the state, Governor Malloy, DCF Commissioner Joette Katz, and US Department of Children Youth and Families Commissioner Rafael Lopez for the PFS Initiative Kickoff on September 28 at Community Health Center in Middletown. CMHA's Victor Incerti and Deb Borzellino are pictured with Vanessa Dorantes and Kristina Stevens of DCF at the kickoff. 

“Finding innovative ways to support promising programs that tackle chronic social issues is a continuous endeavor.  Pay for Success is the right tool at the right time,” Governor Dannel Malloy said.  “Connecticut, like so many other states, faces increased urgency for effective substance use treatment services to help families stay together.  As we strengthen family stability and improve home conditions for children, life-long outcomes will surely improve for our children and families who need help the most.”

Previously serving only families with children up to age three, thanks to PFS funding, CMHA’s FBR will serve households with children aged six years or younger. Project funders include BNP Paribas, QBE Insurance Group Limited, Reinvestment Fund, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Laura and John Arnold Foundation, Nonprofit Finance Fund and two anonymous family foundations.


 CMHA Chief Program Officer Victor Incerti, CMHA Child & Family Services Program Officer Deb Borzellino, DCF Regional Administrator Vanessa Dorantes, and DCF Administrator Kristina Stevens at the PFS Initiative kickoff on September 28 at Community Health Center in Middletown. 

CMHA is pleased to announce the award of $175,000/year over three years totaling $525,000 from the state Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) to combat addiction. 

DMHAS received the funds from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and is granting to four community based providers from around the state in geographic areas with a combination of high overdose deaths and spikes in opioid treatment admissions between 2011-2016. The funds are part of SAMHSA’s Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) campaign to fight opiate abuse and prevent overdoses.  

MAT funds will enable CMHA to treat an additional 130 clients for a total of 550 served over the course of three years, using buprenorphine/naltrexone (Suboxone) medication alongside recovery coaching, case management, evidence-based practices, and overdose prevention kits in the form of Naloxone. The grant will also support a bilingual/bicultural behavioral health clinician to meet the demand for opioid treatment among the Latino/a population.

“Deaths in this country from prescription opioid pain relievers have increased three fold from 2001-2014, and deaths from heroin have increased six fold. There is also an enormous gap between the number of people diagnosed with Opiate use disorder and the number of treatment slots available. This grant will allow CMHA to help close that gap,” says CMHA Psychiatrist Dr. Meg Chaplin.

“Every day in our clinic, we meet people who desperately need buprenorphine but because of limited prescriber availability, we have been forced to limit the number of clients who can receive the medication. This grant award will dramatically increase the number of clients we can see and the number of lives we can save.”

Thank you to The Petit Family Foundation for once again funding trauma-focused training for CMHA's staff to care for victims of violence and abuse.
William Petit Sr., Barbara Petit, and Dr. Bill Petit present the $15,000 grant award to CMHA President & CEO Ray Gorman at the Foundation's offices in Plainville, CT.