First mental health clinic to be commemorated
Published 1:12 pm, Thursday, September 2, 2010
The Board of Directors of the Child Guidance Center of Greater Bridgeport will dedicate its annual meeting to memorialize the agency's 85th anniversary and launch its new name, The Child and Family Guidance Center on Sept. 1 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Bridgeport's first mental health clinic, originally known as The Bridgeport Society for Mental Hygiene, opened its doors to the public on Sept. 1, 1925, and was located at 991 Broad St., now home to City Hall Annex.
"This event marks a turning point for the agency," L. Phillip Guzmàn, Ph.D., president/CEO of the Child and Family Guidance Center, said. "The new name highlights our transition from treating just children to incorporating treatment for adults with a focus on the family unit."
In the early 1900s, a time when mental health treatment was in its infancy in the United States, Bridgeport's leaders were well aware of the need to address the emotional and behavioral needs of its citizens. A major study by Yale University, conducted in June 1924, found that one in five individuals were in need of mental health services; no different than what we see in today's society where 20 percent of the general population has a diagnosable mental health problem.
The Bridgeport Society for Mental Hygiene, staffed just by a part-time volunteer psychiatrist, a part-time psychologist and a social worker, opened its doors a few days a week to treat children and adults. Eighty-five years later, the Child and Family Guidance Center services more than 2,000 adults and children each year. It is a child centered, family focused and community based agency that offers a continuum of quality behavioral health services to children under 18 and to all members of their families.
Mayor Bill Finch will unveil a plaque in honor of this historic event. Randye Kaye, noted radio personality, actress and author of "Ben Behind his Voices: One Family's Journey from Chaos to Hope," a memoir detailing her experience as a parent of a child with serious mental health problems, will lead as keynote speaker. State and local politicians will attend.
The event is open to the public and has sponsorship opportunities. Contact Takeia McAlister at email@example.com to learn more about sponsoring. For more information contact Venice Palmer at 203-394-6529, ext. 3111, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit www.cgcgb.org.