Help and Resources for Parents and Caregivers
Parents and caregivers often say that it is very helpful to speak with other parents who have some of the same concerns with their child. In Connecticut, there are many types of supports and advocacy groups staffed by other parents involved in the mental health system that can provide you with a range of services to help you make your way through the mental health system. There are also national organizations that can help if you live outside of Connecticut (see below for national links).
Connecticut Help and Resources
211 – Connecticut residents can call 2-1-1, which is Connecticut’s free information and referral service. Simply by dialing 2-1-1, a toll-free number throughout Connecticut, callers can reach knowledgeable, multilingual staff and get information, referrals or seek help in a crisis. 2-1-1 operates 24 hours a day, every day of the year. TDD access is available.
Connecticut’s Mobile Crisis Intervention Services: Services for children and adolescents that gives immediate, mobile assessment and intervention to individuals in an active state of crisis and can occur in a variety of settings including the member’s home, school, local emergency department, or community setting. Because this service is mobile and available to all Connecticut residents, it can be a helpful alternative to bringing your child to an Emergency Department in a time of crisis. To access mobile crisis services across Connecticut, call 2-1-1 or click here to visit their website.
Community Collaboratives: In 1997, the State of Connecticut adopted a “System of Care” model for its state mental health plan for children. This federally supported model of service delivery is based on the idea that children with behavioral health challenges do better when they can receive services in their community and when those services involve their parents/caregivers. The Community Collaboratives (Systems of Care) in Connecticut are groups of service providers, advocates, and family members who meet together on a regular basis to help families locate needed services and develop treatment plans with input from the family. Each of the Community Collaboratives has Care Coordinators and Family Advocates who work with families on an individual basis to help identify the child’s service needs and the family’s preference for the kind of service they want. Families do not need to be DCF-involved or HUSKY eligible to receive help from the Community Collaborative, but some services that are recommended may require enrollment in HUSKY or in DCF’s Voluntary Services program. To learn more about the Community Collaboratives, visit the DCF website.
Care coordinators are funded by DCF to provide support to families with behavioral health needs and concerns across the state. To find your local Care Coordinators please consult the Community Collaboratives link on the DCF website or the Network of Care website, which provides help to individuals, families and agencies concerned with mental health. It provides information about mental health services, laws, and related news, as well as communication tools and other features.
Connecticut Family Advocacy Resources:
African Caribbean American Parents of Children with Disabilities (AFCAMP)
Phone: (860) 297-4358
Phone: (860) 563-3232
NAMI-CT: Connecticut’s Voice on Mental Illness,
Phone: (860) 882-0236, Toll Free (800) 215-3021
National Family Advocacy Resources:
Outside of CT there are national resources that can help you, like the National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health and The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and Mental Health America.