In the Media

Doors Open to Howard Center New ASSIST and Mobile Crisis Team Facility

April 09, 2012

To assist adults experiencing a psychiatric crisis, a new facility for Howard Center ASSIST and Mobile Crisis Team just opened at 851 Pine Street, Burlington. A special ribbon cutting ceremony took place on April 9 at the new facility, located at 851 Pine Street, Burlington.

According to Sheryl Bellman, Director, Howard Center Crisis Services of Chittenden County, “This new facility, while only a building away from its prior home, is a major improvement for clients and staff.” She says, “It enhances our ability to provide better care to individuals in crisis and provides an alternative to the Emergency Room for many visits. We hope that the better environment, with more space and single, rather than shared rooms, will help people recover more quickly and return to their lives. Staff and peers will be available to assist in the transition of individuals beyond crisis in a quality facility.”

Construction of 851 Pine Street, as the program site is now called, is the result of many years of work to develop a project funded by the Vermont Department of Mental Health as part of a statewide enhancement of community-based services. The new building will house ASSIST, a crisis stabilization and hospital diversion program for any resident who is experiencing a psychiatric crisis. It also serves as a step-down unit, a place for clients who are leaving an inpatient setting to transition back to the community. Our new space will have a six-bed capacity, with individual rooms for clients, and dedicated space for staff to do interviews and run therapeutic groups. With the reduction in number of inpatient beds post-Tropical Storm Irene, ASSIST beds have become a critical part of the statewide system of care, and will continue to play an important role in meeting the clinical needs of patients needing a structured setting to deal with a psychiatric crisis.

The Mobile Crisis Team, a 24-7 program that provides immediate response to requests from Chittenden County residents 18 years and older and their support systems for intervention in psychiatric crisis, will be co-located in the new facility, increasing integration and coordination between these two services.

The new facility was designed by Scott + Partners Architects and constructed by Connor Contracting.

« Back to releases