HCN News & Notes

BHN to Hold Grand Opening of Youth Crisis Program in Agawam

AGAWAM — Behavioral Health Network (BHN) will formally open its new Youth Community Crisis Stabilization (YCCS) facility at 830 Silver St. in Agawam with an open house at the site on Friday, Sept. 8 at 9 a.m. Representatives of BHN, local elected officials, and representatives of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts will participate in the opening.

The youth-serving program will be operated in partnership with Gándara Center, and the facility will house the Village for Youth, which provides on-site, short-term crisis stabilization, therapeutic intervention, and specialized programs in a secure site for children and adolescents.

The new program replaces and upgrades BHN’s Community Based Acute Treatment  (CBAT) program for youth, which has been operating for the past eight years at 385 Maple St. in Springfield. The YCCS level of care is similar to the CBAT, but includes enhanced psychiatry and nursing capacity to help support children and youth with complex psychiatric needs. BHN will repurpose the current Maple Street facility for another program.

The youth program will provide a safe environment, with 24/7 safety supervision, intensive therapy, medication assessment and treatment, and support for families around returning home.

Many more individuals will be able to be served in the new program, up to 22 children and youth in specialized units for younger (6-11 years) and older (12-18 years) individuals. The program is a regional program, serving children from across Western Mass.

According to Steve Winn, president and CEO of BHN, “with the advent of the state’s Community Behavioral Health Center initiative comes the opportunity to deliver a similar, yet expanded, intensive youth residential treatment program. We are responding to a community need, and this dovetails with the establishment earlier this year of the BHN WellBeing clinic.”