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Winter 2017
News from Our Network

The Big Story
Behind the Little n


Welcome to our new periodic e-newsletter, bhnToday. We hope to stay in regular contact with our stakeholders about the important work we do in the communities we serve. Over the last year-and-a-half, BHN has merged with The Carson Center and expanded to provide services in Franklin County. With so much change and opportunity, management embarked on a new communications program to inform and enlighten those with whom we work.

Since 1938 when the Child Guidance Clinic was established, eventually merging with area freestanding behavioral health clinics, the BHN “network” has continued to experience substantial growth, yet its brand has remained relatively unchanged. The network concept that was established with the formation of BHN is the big story behind the growth and success of the organization.

With the continued growth and expansion of programming and services, and the fiscal year 2016 merging with The Carson Center, leadership decided the time had come to look at how BHN’s network and its brand might be better integrated and communicated.

According to Kathy Wilson, President and CEO of BHN, “The network concept has sustained us through all of the many changes BHN has experienced in response to the evolving landscape in behavioral health. This past year, when The Carson Center merged with BHN, we recognized they had a brand of their own that had to be incorporated.

“The ‘n’ in BHN is as much about the people doing the work on the ground as it is about programs and the infrastructure needed to serve the community,” Wilson says.

The result of the new branding program—including BHN The Carson Center, BHN Valley Human Services, BHN At Liberty Street— is intended to create a more seamless and integrated look for the organization. The message of the new brand is that BHN offers a larger, evolving organization with new capacities to serve the behavioral health needs in the region it serves.
Community Embracing New Franklin County Treatment Programs
After opening in July of 2016 it has been a busy time for BHN staff in ramping up and serving the community at the Northern Hope Center and the Franklin Recovery Center, both housed in the former Lunt Silversmiths building on Federal Street in Greenfield.

Staff reports many success stories are emerging and they are starting to see 12-step program participants receiving their three and six month pins for sobriety. The facility and programs are a response to the growing opioid problem in Franklin County and, since opening, BHN has formed strong partnerships with local police, Baystate Franklin Medical Center and formed alliances with Community Support Options and Community Substance Abuse Centers.

Operating on different floors on the same site, the Northern Hope Center and the Franklin Recovery Center each have 32 beds serving both men and women. Both are open to those 18 years and older suffering from drug and alcohol addiction, including those under a court order to seek treatment.

The Franklin Recovery Center serves those with an addiction who are in the first 5-7 days of recovery and provides acute treatment/detoxification. The Northern Hope Center provides rehabilitation treatment for approximately two weeks and helps individuals build a personalized plan for a life of wellness and supported recovery.

Program Participant Expresses Herself Through Artwork

An adolescent in BHN's TeamWorks program who faces the challenges of depression was encouraged and supported by the program's director to express herself through artwork. The artwork is now on display at the program site.  The quote across the bottom of the paintings is by a young writer, Erin Hanson, and says, "There is freedom waiting for you, on the breezes of the sky, and you ask, 'What if I fall?' Oh but my darling, what if you fly?" 
Read Our Annual Report

Whole Health Approach
Connects Mind and Body

Healthcare is continuing to evolve with the goal of rendering more efficient and integrated services that are less costly. One approach on the rise is the bringing together of physical and behavioral health into  “whole health” treatment. This approach recognizes that mind and body are connected and that treating physical and behavioral health in a coordinated way improves patient functioning.

There are many intersections between physical and behavioral health. A person with diabetes, for instance, may be having trouble taking insulin or changing routines to include taking insulin. The patient may be depressed about the diagnosis and may not have the motivation for self-care. If the primary care provider only treats the diabetes, the behavioral health issues are not being addressed. This is changing as more primary care physicians are asking questions about the physical and behavioral health of the patients they see, with greater awareness of the connection between mind and body.

In the past, this coordinated approach didn’t happen often, as physical and behavioral health providers worked in separate facilities, had little access to each other and required separate appointments for the patient. BHN staff at the community level are encountering a more integrated behavioral health system in primary care, where patients are increasingly experiencing a holistic approach to their physical and behavioral health needs.

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417 Liberty Street
Springfield, MA  01104

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