Mary Joggerst has assumed the directorship of the Child Guidance Center of Southern Connecticut's Darien/New Canaan office, 972 Post Road, Darien.

Before becoming director of this community office, Joggerst was a clinician in CGC's Emergency Mobile Crisis Program, providing clinical services to some of the highest risk adolescents and children in the community.

As a member of the crisis team, Joggerst provided assessment and stabilization services to children threatening suicide or violence, and those suffering from post traumatic stress disorder. She also dedicated time to providing longer-term individual, group and family therapy to youngsters with a wider range of mental health issues to help them resolve problems and develop skills to more independently manage overwhelming feelings and challenging life circumstances.

Since moving into her new position, Joggerst has built upon relationships formed in her previous role, leading to a spike in referrals to the Darien/New Canaan office. Many of the cases referred to the Darien location in recent months have been complex and have required an array of services, including case management and therapy, and in some cases, medication combined with psychotherapy to reduce severe symptoms, according to Child Guidance Center officials.

Noting that even in Darien and New Canaan most families cannot afford private practice fees and require subsidy to cover the full cost of diagnostic and treatment services at the CGC, Joggerst said she is appreciative of the support provided by organizations like the Community Fund of Darien, New Canaan Community Foundation, Town of New Canaan Health and Human Services and area churches and individuals.

"Knowing we are meeting such an intense need is extremely fulfilling," Joggerst said. "Because we offer comprehensive services, we have the tools here to work with and help some very high-risk children and families."

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Before coming to the CGC, Joggerst worked at St. Vincent's Trauma and Wellness Center in Manhattan and in various other school and clinical settings. She received a Bachelor of Arts in sociology with a concentration in clinical psychology from Ithaca College in Ithaca, N.Y. and a Master of Social Work degree from Hunter College in New York City.

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