What is ACCESS Mental Health CT?

ACCESS Mental Health CT is a free phone consultation service available to all primary care providers treating children in Connecticut under the age of 22 years, with or without insurance. Mental health professionals at ACCESS-MH are available to help your child’s doctor access information and resources regarding mental health issues and treatment.

While every child is unique and special, sometimes they encounter emotions, feelings or behavior that cause problems in their lives and the lives of those around them. It’s important to talk with your child’s pediatrician about your concerns. During your child’s appointment, your pediatrician or family practitioner may call our ACCESS-MH specialists to ask for advice. 

This advice may include a recommendation for you and your child to see a behavioral health provider in your community. Our ACCESS MH specialists will then work with you to help you find the right provider for you and your child.  

ACCESS Mental Health CT Family Video – to learn more about how the ACCESS Mental Health program works, watch the video!

The best treatment for your child happens when your child’s medical and behavioral health providers work together. One way to help with this is to use the Green Form.

How the Green Form Works – watch the video!

Green form – see the form!

Gizmo Pawesome’s Guide to Mental Health – an online children’s book


Additional Resources

The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) Facts for Families website provides concise and up-to-date information on issues that affect children, teenagers, and their families. AACAP Facts For Families Resource Guide

2-1-1 connects callers, at no cost, to critical health and human services in their community. 2-1-1 is your one-stop connection to the local services you need, from utility assistance, food, housing, child care, after school programs, elder care, crisis intervention and much more. 2-1-1 is always ready to assist you find the help you need. Dial 2-1-1 or search online at www.211ct.org 

Crisis Resources:

For an immediate life-threatening situation, Dial 9-1-1

For a crisis where someone is experiencing difficult or suicidal thoughts Dial 2-1-1

Mental health crisis intervention services are provided by teams of mental health workers (psychiatrists, RNs, MSWs, psychologists) who intervene in situations where an individual’s mental or emotional condition results in behavior which constitutes an imminent danger to him or herself or to another. Mobile crisis teams visit people in their homes or community sites, and others meet clients in clinics or hospital emergency rooms. Psychiatric emergency rooms and mental health facilities can provide crisis services to people in crisis who can travel to a facility. To Find Mobile Crisis Teams or a Mental Health Facility closest to you, Dial 2-1-1

Outside of CT, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at  1-800-273 TALK (8255).

If someone is uncomfortable talking on the phone, she/he can also use the crisis text line by texting 741741

Connecticut Recovery and Addiction Resources:

The Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) has a wide array of addiction related resources to assist residents of Connecticut, family members, and social service providers dealing with this issue.

Statewide toll-free number connecting residents seeking treatment and services to local walk-in assessment centers. Connecticut residents can call 1-800-563-4086, 24 hours a day, to connect them or a loved one to an assessment center in their area, or visit the website for a location: http://www.ct.gov/dmhas/walkins

Opioid Overdose Prevention/Naloxone (Narcan) Initiative: Naloxone (narcan) is the antidote to an opioid overdose. Pharmacists who have been trained and certified are now able to prescribe and dispense naloxone/narcan to individuals from a pharmacy. A list of Naloxone Prescribing Pharmacists in Connecticut is available by clicking this link. In addition to certified pharmacists, Connecticut law allows other prescribers, including physicians, surgeons, Physician Assistants (PAs), Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs), and Dentists to prescribe, dispense and/or administer the medication.

Medication Assisted Treatment Providers:

CT Medicaid MAT Provider Map– search for MAT prescribers available in Connecticut.

Connecticut Alcoholics Anonymous has information, tools, and locations of area meetings to support recovery.

Connecticut Advocacy Organizations:

Advocates are available to direct you to local resources or help you to navigate the services systems. Advocates can also assist in helping you to understand your rights and how to negotiate when you are having difficulty getting what you need. There are many advocacy organizations in Connecticut but the following are some of the more prominent organizations that operate statewide.

NAMI-CT (National Alliance on Mental Illness): NAMI offers family support groups, training programs, and advocacy. NAMI is not only for people with mental illness but for their loved ones and the community.

CCAR (Connecticut Community for Addiction Recovery): CCAR provides recovery support services to people in recovery from substance use and addiction. Services include Telephone Recovery Support, employment services, and the Recovery Coach Academy. CCAR has several drop-in centers in CT.

FAVOR : FAVOR-CT is a statewide family advocacy organization, which serves families of children with mental and behavioral health needs.  FAVOR-CT partners with other organizations and encourages families to participate in policy-making and legislative process.

HVN-CT (Hearing Voices Network): This organization is for people who hear voices, see visions, or have other unusual perceptions. HVN has several group meetings in Connecticut, and offers training to educate loved ones and the general public about the experiences of voice hearers, and dispel the stigma of voice hearing.

Turning Point CT: Turning Point CT was developed by teens and young adults in Connecticut who are in recovery from mental health and substance use issues. Their mission is to empower teens and young adults in their search for emotional and mental health; helping you understand your options and learn how to navigate the behavioral health system.

Join Rise Be: A peer-run initiative for young people who are in or seeking recovery from mental health or addiction challenges. It is a network of members consisting of young adults statewide. Members advocate for better treatment, better access, and better legislation for people living with mental illness and addiction. Through this work they aim to eliminate the stigma of mental illness and addiction.

Oversight of the ACCESS Mental Health program is provided by the Central Administrative team at Carelon Behavioral Health.  Any questions regarding the statewide program can be directed to: Elizabeth Garrigan, LPC ~  Statewide Program Director, ACCESS Mental Health CT ~  Carelon Behavioral Health ~  500 Enterprise Drive, Suite 3D ~  Rocky Hill, CT 06067 ~  860-263-2095 ~  elizabeth.garrigan@carelon.com