Washington County Mental Health Services
About Washington County Mental Health Services
Washington County Mental Health Services, a non-profit, comprehensive Community Mental Health Agency, is very proud to be the primary provider of specialized services in the Washington County region since 1967. For 50 years we have worked to serve our community through education, support, and treatment of individuals who live with mental health challenges, substance use issues, or intellectual and developmental disabilities. The mission of WCMHS is to advocate for the inclusion of all persons into our community and actively encourage Self-Determination, Resilience and Recovery. Whether we are working with a child 1:1 in a school system, providing therapy to an individual in an office setting, meeting someone in their home for an appointment or assisting with a crisis response in our local hospital, we work for successful outcomes and wellness for each individual and family we serve.
Washington County Mental Health Services (WCMHS) is designated by Vermont Statute to provide a wide variety of support and treatment opportunities for children, adolescents, families, and adults living with the challenges of mental illness, emotional and behavioral issues, and developmental disabilities.
The agency provides inpatient and outpatient services; individual, group and couples therapy for adults; individual, group and family therapy, as well as specialized programs for children and young adults and their families; case management, rehabilitation and residential programs for those with long term mental illness; special programming and residential services for people with developmental disabilities; and a 24-hour emergency service. WCMHS emphasizes accessibility through satellite offices and programs in the field. Programs are flexible and specifically designed to meet the needs to the individual client.
Washington County + Orange Center, Washington, Williamstown in Northern Orange County
The Doula Project of WCMHS
The Doula Project of WCMHS is committed to providing empowering, evidence-based, non-judgmental support to pregnant and parenting mothers and their families. The Doula Project includes three components – prenatal, labor and postpartum support. The components are approached with the understanding that women suffering from mental health issues, with cognitive limitations, who are trauma survivors or who struggle with addictions have a unique set of needs. This project recognizes that becoming a parent can be a pivotal point of growth in people’s lives, and supports them to self-advocate, grow a positive support system, and practice good self-care and healthy parenting. The project is available to any woman who receives or is eligible to receive services from WCMHS.
WCMHS Receives Center of Excellence Designation
Washington County Mental Health Services was chosen as a Center of Excellence in the winter of 2018. A Center of Excellence is “…a great place to get care and a great place to work. It is an organization or program within an organization that is an integral part of the health neighborhood — providing rapid access…. high value, comprehensive, whole person care supporting resiliency, recovery, and results in excellent outcomes, and high client satisfaction.” WCMHS, along with United Counseling Services, were the first mental health agencies in Vermont to receive this certification.
Vermont Care Partner’s Center of Excellence Certification builds upon the work of the National Council for Behavioral Health. The goal of the certification is quality improvement across its 16 agency network. Going forward as a Center of Excellence, WCMHS will continue with the work we do to support some of our most vulnerable community members. We will provide excellent care at an affordable cost, and we will remain steadfast in our mission to advocate for the inclusion of all persons into our communities and to actively encourage Self-Determination, Resilience, and Recovery.
Parent Child Interactive Therapy (PCIT) Program at WCMHS
Since October of 2017, the PCIT program at WCMHS has received over 25 referrals for treatment. Currently, WCMHS has three Master’s level clinicians trained in PCIT, and the program looks to continue its outreach to families in need to yield positive outcomes for parents, children and our community.
PCIT is a unique approach that uses intensive parent coaching to promote positive communication and discipline for families with children ages 2 ½ through 6 years. PCIT is the only evidence-based practice in which the parent and child are treated together throughout the course of treatment. The therapist communicates with the parents from behind a one-way mirror through a wireless in-ear speaker while the parent plays with the child. PCIT is a specific, step by step coached behavioral training model that has two phases: Child Directed Intervention, (CDI), and Parent Directed Intervention, (PDI).
Zero Suicide Project
A clinical committee will be rolling out information and training to place suicide prevention at the forefront across our agency. This model includes assessment and follow up tools, as well as training opportunities. Representatives from all Divisions throughout our Agency are on the committee, and the intention is to have all staff, regardless of position, play an important role in Zero Suicide.
WCMHS Partnership with Family Center of Washington County and UVM-CVMC
Through a partnership between UVM/Central Vermont Medical Center, the Family Center of Washington County, and Washington County Mental Health, Pediatric Primary Care in Berlin will see expanded family supports embedded within the practice. This exciting pilot program includes an opportunity to offer families with children aged 0 through 36 months a screening for Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and a follow up meeting with family support specialists who can provide a menu of options, including information and referrals, parenting information, and connections to community supports.
WCMHS in collaboration with Norwich Technologies
All of our buildings here at WCMHS will be partially operated by solar energy within the next year. WCMHS signed a contract with Norwich Technologies and will be purchasing our energy, which will originate in an array in White River Junction, as well as through an array to be erected on our 885 South Barre Road, from this solar based production. WCMHS is always striving to be a green member of our community!
WCMHS Partnership with UVM-CVMC to Create an Integrated Health Home
Our Integrated Health Home has been established as a primary health home at Granite City Medical practice in Barre for individuals who had a difficult time maintaining a doctor and have severe complications with their physical, mental or emotional stability. With increased case management, 16 individuals have achieved positive health results and health care experiences in the primary care practice. Results from the program show a reduction in the group’s overall average emergency room utilization by 32%. This project involved all adult services divisions here at WCMHS: Community Support Programs, Counseling and Psychological Services, Community and Developmental Services, and Intensive Care Services.
WCMHS and Good Samaritan Shelter Work Together to Provide Shelter in Montpelier
In winter of 2018, the Good Samaritan Shelter in Barre utilized expanded space at the Bethany Church for shelter to bring people in out of the cold. WCMHS hired a clinician to specifically provide mental health and housing information supports to people residing at the shelter. WCMHS has also expanded a more homelike space through three apartments leased to the Shelter in Montpelier to help individuals experiencing homelessness in that community.