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Grant Helps Children Heal



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Grant Helps Children Heal

DANBURY — The Center for Child and Adolescent Treatment Services (CCATS) received a $50,0000 grant from the Perrin Family Foundation of Ridgefield, an organization that supports programs that benefit and improve the lives of children in Fairfield County. CCATS recently relocated from Osborne Street to 152 West Street in Danbury, and can be reached at 830-6082.

The grant will allow CCATS to increase the number of hours its child psychiatrist can see patients, in addition to funding a grants-writer to pursue additional funding sources.

Orestes Arcuni, MD, chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at Danbury Hospital said, “Our newly appointed board-certified child psychiatrist is an important part of our commitment to providing mental health services for children and adolescents. We are pleased to have Dr Brian Abbott, who has extensive training and credentials, to help us maintain and enhance our commitment to helping our community.”

According to Fran Walczak, manager of CCATS, the grant will enable Dr Abbott to see up to eight more patients a week.. In addition to the services of a board-certified child and adolescent psychiatrist, CCATS offers other innovative treatment programs to help children, ages 5 to 19, cope with and heal from psychiatric illnesses and chemical dependency. It provides intensive outpatient treatment; a comprehensive assessment service; individual, group, and family counseling; support programs; and case management.

“We’re unique in that we have Dr Abbott, a board-certified child psychiatrist,” said Elizabeth Driscoll-Jorgensen, coordinator of Adolescent Substance Abuse. “They’re rare due to the rigorous demands of the board certification process and the demand for their expertise.”

This grant, however, will allow CCATS to help 30 percent more children, she added. “The Perrins are very visionary and have found a unique way to prevent future social catastrophes of untreated mental illnesses in children. In an era where we still have widespread societal ignorance and deep stigma against mental illness, the Perrin Family Foundation is making a real difference, and a lasting impact, through this commitment.”

Studies show, according to Dr Arcuni, that children with untreated psychiatric problems grow up to be troubled adults. Through prevention and treatment, CCATS also strives to cut social risk factors in the community to help reduce crime and poverty.

The grant comes at a particularly crucial time, Ms Walczak added, as more and more mental health programs are being cut because managed care companies refuse to pay for them. The cuts, she said, come at a time when more and more children are at risk. “As we go forward over the next three or four years, we expect that children will continue to face challenges and will suffer without support and treatment for their psychiatric needs. We have had a difficult year with the terrorist attacks and concerns about war and home security. These issues are likely to continue to affect our children and their psychiatric needs will only increase over the years. We need to find a way to increase our programs, not cut them.”

The community has responded generously to CCATS’ needs. The program came to the attention of Charles and Sheila Perrin of the Perrin Family Foundation, who invited the center to apply for a grant, since the missions of the two organizations were closely aligned. The Perrins are no strangers to the work of Danbury Hospital. Charles Perrin was CEO of Duracell in Bethel when the battery-maker funded the Duracell Ambulatory Surgery Center several years ago.

“We’re deeply grateful to The Perrin Family Foundation,” said Dr Arcuni, “because it’s giving us the means to be able to assure our own financial future…a future that should be busy helping more kids beat their problems.”

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