Joshua Center Shoreline, which opened in January of 2011 in Old Saybrook, Conn., operates one of Natchaug’s six outpatient programs for children and adolescents as well as a clinical day treatment school.
The Joshua Program offers partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient treatment for children and adolescents from ages 10 to 18 who struggle with social and emotional difficulties including mental illness, substance abuse and emotional trauma. The program operates a group therapy model with additional oversight from a program psychiatrist and family therapy.
The Joshua Clinical Day Treatment (CDT) school is a state-approved special education program operated with support from the home schools of the students. The school, which is one of seven CDT programs run by Natchaug, currently serves adolescents in grades 7 through 12.
Natchaug Hospital decided to open the Shoreline location after an AT&T Planning Grant identified a need for child and adolescent mental health services in the region.
“It’s exciting because we’ve added a new level of care to an area that didn’t have local partial hospitalization (PHP), intensive outpatient programs (IOP), or clinical day schools” said Program Director Corey Gartner. “It feels great to meet the needs of a community that had sometimes been overlooked in the past.”
Since opening its doors, Joshua Center Shoreline has served almost 80 children and families from 18 towns in the greater Essex/Old Saybrook region.
“We’re still in the process of educating the community about what we do and what we have to offer, but there’s definitely a lot of talk and chatter about the quality of treatment that children receive while they’re with us,” Gartner said.
Although the year-old program is still small, expansion is already in the works.
“The demand for our clinical day school was so high in the area that we recently added a second classroom to meet these needs,” said CDT Special Education Program Principal Lori Secchiaroli. “I’m thrilled to see the progress our students are making, and I’m looking forward to giving even more students the opportunity to achieve success in this unique special education program.”
Gartner is looking forward to similar growth with the Joshua Program.
“We’re exploring the possibility of expanding our physical building, as well as expanding our catchment area and maybe adding another therapy group,” Gartner said. “This program is growing for sure and growing faster than anyone expected.”