Rural Connecticut hospital customizes behavioral health care to meet community needs

Charlotte Hungerford Hospital. Stock image of young adults seated in a group therapy circle talking

Accessing quality behavioral health care can be challenging — all the more so for people living in rural areas. And getting access to the specific care needed also is critical.

Charlotte Hungerford Hospital, located in Torrington, Ct., and part of Hartford HealthCare, is continuously “expanding and tweaking” its behavioral health offerings to ensure the people it serves in northwestern Connecticut communities get the care they need.

The hospital offers a variety of programs and outpatient groups:

  • Traditional programs, such as partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient groups.
  • Outpatient groups focused on specific areas, including recovering mind and body; relapse prevention; grief and loss; cognitive behavioral therapy for anxiety and depression; and dialectical behavioral therapy skills.
  • Groups for particular demographics, including young adults; women aged 55 or older; and adult men.
  • Other customized outpatient groups, such as “Connecting to Calm”; “Thoughtful Thursdays”; and “Beyond Blue” for ages 55 and older.

As the largest behavioral care provider in Litchfield County, Charlotte Hungerford Hospital’s Behavioral Health Center treats about 2,500 patients annually with group therapy as well as individual therapy and medication management for adults. The team includes clinicians, psychiatrists, advance practice psychiatric nurses, case managers and other health care professionals. In addition, the hospital website offers information on a range of behavioral health conditions and links to health tools.

Yet the hospital team takes pride in its status as a community hospital. In a recent blog, Cathy Dean, clinical manager of adult outpatient behavioral health, noted that maintaining the small hospital “feel” helps staff work effectively with community partners — on treatment, prevention and education — and work closely together as well. “What’s really special about our team is the collaboration we have and the respect for each other’s therapeutic expertise,” Dean said.


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