By: Brayden Ransom, MHC’s Marketing and Communications Coordinator 

Mental Health Connecticut (MHC) has received its triennial accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) after having successfully completed a comprehensive assessment of the organization in May 2022. Findings from the report reflect multiple strengths of the agency, including positive feedback on our success helping participants to improve their independence, skilled residential counselors, leaderships commitment to staff satisfaction and and innovative wellness programs.

CARF is an international, non-profit organization which provides accreditation services to health and human service providers that demonstrate a commitment to continually improve services to the community. Mental Health Connecticut maintains its accreditation with CARF to validate its adherence to the highest quality of care for the thousands of individuals MHC serves each year.

“We take pride in this achievement,” said Michael Culmo, MHC’s Chief Program Officer. “Meeting the high care standards set forth by CARF demonstrates our commitment to offering programs and services that are measurable, accountable, and of the highest quality.”

Mental Health Connecticut was founded in 1908. A nonprofit organization with offices and services provided in Waterbury, Danbury, Bridgeport, Torrington, Stamford, and West Hartford, as well as statewide, MHC serves more than 3,800 residents and works with local and national leaders to instigate meaningful systems change. MHC has helped thousands of individuals obtain a safe home, achieve whole health, find self-fulfillment, and become an active member of their community.

Feedback from program participants were gathered as part of the accreditation process and shared in the final report. Participants stated that, despite the impact of the COVID-10 pandemic, staff members have been exceptionally creative in managing continued service delivery. The participants received assistance in obtaining electronic devices and internet services to stay in contact with the organization. They stated that the staff members taught them the reasons why life changes are important, which helps motivate them to change. They also stated, “I never feel afraid anymore,” and noted that the staff members have helped them, “stick to working through the hard stuff.”

“Seeing our hard work recognized by CARF International, an accrediting body held in high regard, is a great indicator of our effort to continuously improve the safety, quality, value and outcomes of services for the people and communities we serve.” Luis Pérez, President & CEO of Mental Health Connecticut.

Upon receiving our CARF accreditation MHC has also re-affiliated with our national affiliate, Mental Health America, for the next 5 years. MHA affiliates provide the on-the-ground public education, information and referral, rehabilitation services, socialization and housing services to people confronting mental health illnesses and their loved ones. MHC serves as a local leader in the support and development of consumer-run initiatives and primary prevention programs as well as influencing public policy at the local, state, and national level to assure fair and effective treatment for individuals in recovery. Re-affiliating means continuing a legacy of over one hundred years of positive change for people with mental health conditions.

The re-affiliation process required a self-evaluation on the part of MHC to determine if standards are being maintained, whether goals and objectives are being met, and where special recognition or supportive assistance may be needed.

The self-evaluations are then peer reviewed by affiliate leaders and MHA board members with the intention of providing: (1) helpful information to the MHA National Office; (2) constructive feedback to affiliates on their activities, issues and programs; (3) support and recommendations; and (4) recognition of good work. In the re-affiliation letter MHA commended MHC for establishing the Connecticut Parity Coalition, MHC’s advocacy successes, providing critical housing options, supportive employment, supported education, and receiving MHA’s Bell Seal certification.