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Behavioral Health Expansion Initiative

Hear from clinicians, Harrington leaders, medical health professionals and community leaders to understand why the new co-occurring disorder unit in Webster is so critical.

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The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that the inadequacy of mental health care costs the country $444 billion a year, most of which results from lost economic productivity.  Mental disorders are highly disabling, often resulting in the inability to work and function effectively, and, thus, perpetuating a cycle of poverty.

To address this critical and acute need in central Massachusetts and to increase access to mental health and substance abuse services, Harrington HealthCare System has embarked on a behavioral health initiatives project over the past two years. This initiative includes a patient navigator program — which connects mental health clinicians and social workers to individuals needing care — as well as a larger presence within the local drug court system, where Harrington offers enrollment into treatment programs for some with mental illness and substance use disorders.

Harrington also teamed up with the Southbridge Police for the Community CARE program, where individuals can seek help and treatment instead of incrimination.

Fulfilling the need for more patients to receive recovery services locally, an 8,200 square foot inpatient co-occurring disorders unit (CDU) recently opened at our Webster campus. The unit will be the first inpatient unit in central and western Massachusetts to offer an inpatient psychiatric unit with a specialty track for patients suffering from both mental illness and substance use disorders.

Adjacent to this new unit is a newly-renovated outpatient services and partial hospitalization program, which will provide an intensive, individualized aftercare plan to keep recovery a priority once the patient has been discharged from the unit. The concept was centered around a continuity of care, all in the same, accessible location.

There is also a 14-bed unit at Harrington’s Southbridge campus which offers adult inpatient psychiatric treatment.

Achieving Our Fund-Raising Goal

Fifty-percent of the project cost has been secured via a grant from the Massachusetts Health Policy Commission’s Community Hospital Acceleration, Revitalization, & Transformation investment program (“CHART”) Phase II.  CHART makes phased investments in state community hospitals to enhance the delivery of efficient, effective care.

In October 2014, Harrington received approval of a CHART grant award of $3.5 million, of which $1.4 million is designated for construction of the inpatient psychiatric project.

The balance required for the project is being secured through public and private fundraising, including the May 21, 2016 Fare to Remember, which featured samplings from some of the area’s finest restaurants, live entertainment, a silent auction and a live auction. Guests included Lt. Gov. Karen Polito and Mix 104.1’s Kennedy.

Learn more about Harrington HealthCare System’s behavioral health services.


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For the safety of our patients and our staff, please note we have implemented some new policies in our Southbridge and Webster Emergency Departments.

VISITORS: We may now only permit 1 visitor per patient. Visitors are not allowed re-entry. (There are minor exceptions to this, i.e. the parents of an infant.)

SECURITY: We have implemented a security check at each entrance. All persons and bags are subject to search.

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