Rushford at Meriden: An Authority in Mental Health
In 2017 Rushford continued its role as the Local Mental Health Authority (LMHA) for the Meriden/Wallingford region, working with the state Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) to provide comprehensive treatment and support programming for those suffering from serious mental health disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression and others.
The LMHA designation is given to select agencies across the state that receive state funding to meet the full range of needs for those suffering from severe and persistent mental illness – including clinical treatment, counseling and assistance with housing, food, employment and other basic needs.
One of Rushford’s focuses in its role as LMHA over the past year has been development of a Buprenorphine Treatment Program at Rushford’s Meriden facility for patients with opioid addiction and co-morbid psychiatric disorders. The intensive six to eight week outpatient program includes medically assisted treatment to alleviate withdrawal symptoms and suppress opiate effects and cravings. The program has produced positive patient outcomes with 30-day retention rates exceeding the national average. In addition, data gathered by the site Medical Director, Hassan Dinakar, MD , indicates that some of these patients suffering from co-morbid mood and anxiety disorders were able to decrease or even discontinue other psychiatric medications once on the opioid replacement therapy.
Also through the LMHA, Rushford administers the Community Based Initiative, a housing program for clients who require additional recovery-based services to promote independence and successful integration into the community. Eleven clients in need have successfully transitioned to new housing under the program. Support from the Meriden community and NuBreed Enterprises has been integral in making this program a success.
In addition to the Meriden Police Department, Rushford provided this training to The Chrysalis Center for Domestic violence, the School Nurses in the East Hampton and Southington School departments, the Capital Community college Police Department, the South Central Connecticut Regional Water Authority Police Department and others. Opioid Overdose training and Naloxone use continues to be an integral part of every patient’s orientation at Rushford and is being rolled out at other HHC entities.
Services provided by Rushford under its LMHA designation
Community Support Program, which functions as case management services for clients in need
Mobile Crisis Services
Respite Beds to prevent clients from being hospitalized
Shelter Plus and Homeless Outreach Program
Residential Housing – located at Camp Street and Parker North in Meriden
Kuhn Employment Services
Behavioral Health Home
Young Adult Services