Employee

Changing Young Lives at Goodwin House

“This is the first time I’ve gone bowling sober,” said the 15-year-old boy to Goodwin House Program Director Jena Cooper. A resident in Goodwin House’s
Read More
Employee

“I love my team”

When asked for her biggest “win” in her career, Mary Loomis, Program Director of CHD’s Behavioral Health Outpatient Clinic in Easthampton, said a recent victory
Read More
Employee

“Don’t be ashamed of your story”

Sang Pham, a clinical social worker at CHD’s Pine Street Behavioral Health Clinic, pointed to a sign in her office that sums up what Mental
Read More
Employee

Gaining Confidence and Knowledge

Emily Bloch is a clinical social work intern at CHD’s Outpatient Behavioral Health Clinic in Greenfield. In her final semester in Westfield State University’s Master
Read More
Employee

“I'm very proud to be a part of this program”

“I wanted to give back what was given to me,” said Kimberly Froebel about her motivation to become a recovery specialist at CHD. Indeed, she
Read More
Employee

Internships a Pathway to Success

When asked how valuable internships are for students interested in the field of behavioral health, LICSW Dominique Wells doesn’t hesitate to affirm their importance. She
Read More
Employee

From CHD Intern to Clinician to Clinical Supervisor

Stephanie Delano is an LICSW clinical supervisor at CHD’s Outpatient Behavioral Health Clinic in Easthampton, where she is responsible for day-to-day management of clinic staff
Read More
Employee

Building Therapeutic Relationships

Shayna Cole, an LICSW clinician at CHD’s Outpatient Behavioral Health Clinic in Easthampton, said she went into social work to help people who are struggling
Read More
Employee

Delivering a Proven Treatment Model

The clinical treatment model used by the Iris Home, CHD’s newest intensive residential rehabilitation home for men in New Hartford, CT, is called Trauma Informed Positive
Read More
Employee

A Powerhouse for Families Needing Housing Support

Laura Reichsman, program director of Family Outreach of Amherst (FOA), has two words to describe Program Manager Francine Rodriguez, who has worked with FOA since
Read More
Volunteer

Advocates for Children’s Best Interest

Abigail Sweeney and Victoria Gonzalez are volunteers for CHD’s Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Program of Hampden County, which works with Springfield and Holyoke Juvenile
Read More
Employee

A Partnership Model for Released Prisoners

William Dearstyne is a community support navigator in CHD’s Behavioral Health for Justice Involved Individuals (BH-JI), a program funded by MassHealth and the UMass Chan
Read More
Employee

Facilitating Recovery and Personal Growth

In many cultures, the iris flower is associated with the idea of resilience and strength. According to Iris Home Program Director Daniella Ramos, the iris
Read More
Employee

Helping Struggling Families Toward a Better Life

Laura Reichsman, program director for CHD’s Family Outreach of Amherst (FOA), doesn’t hesitate when asked what her motivating factor was in becoming a caseworker at
Read More
Employee

Teamwork and Collaboration in Nursing

As Emily Hebert recently discussed her new role as CHD’s new director of nursing services, she recalled what drew her into nursing in the first
Read More
Employee

Seeking More Mentors for Children and Youth

Why do today’s kids—especially the children served by CHD’s Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Hampshire County (BBBS)—need mentors now more than ever? “One in
Read More
Program Participant

A Proud CHD Foster Family Grows

Jeremiah, a seven-year old boy served in CHD’s TLC Medical Foster Care Program, was adopted in late August by his foster parents Carmen McKenzie and
Read More
Program Participant

Recovery: “You Have to Do It for Yourself”

Joey is appreciative of Goodwin House, CHD’s residential substance use treatment center in Chicopee serving boys aged 13-17. “The program has done a lot for
Read More
Program Participant

Reaching New Heights

At times, it was a bit of a struggle, but when 17-year-old Cenk climbed to the top of the 42-foot-high wall, his happiness and pride
Read More
Program Participant

A Model Among Her Peers in Recovery

Jada can’t pinpoint any particular incident that made her decide to stop drinking for good. “I was just tired,” she said. She had lost her
Read More
Program Participant

Adjusting to Life Outside Prison—with CHD’s Help

When Jose was released from prison after 42 years, he found it difficult to cope with freedom. He was one of the thousands of prisoners
Read More
Employee

A Clinician's Nonverbal Approach to Therapy

Clinician Rachel Gustafson, who runs art therapy groups in CHD’s STAR Psychiatric Day Treatment Program in Springfield, said she loves this activity because it helps
Read More
Employee

Breaking the Recidivism Cycle

Amanda Cove-Foster is program director of CHD’s Behavioral Health for Justice Involved Individuals (BH-JI), a program funded by MassHealth and the UMass Chan Medical School
Read More
Program Participant

An Inclusive and Empowering Program

David Whiteley, pictured on the left, and Jacob Allen (right) are regulars at Veteran Climbing Nights, which are run by CHD’s All In: Barrier-Free Recreation
Read More
Employee

De-escalation is Her Specialty

Heather Messer, a Crisis Services Clinician at our Gateway Community Behavioral Health Center (CBHC) in Chicopee, is part of a co-response partnership, which provides a
Read More
Employee

An Empathetic and Determined Leader

Tayna Howard, program manager for CHD’s Lotus Home in Hartford, recalled her recent team meeting’s icebreaker question to encourage participation from everyone in the group.
Read More
Employee

Helping Youths Develop Life Skills

Brendan Rios, who has been a therapeutic mentor at CHD for four years, likes working with kids—especially teenagers. While some people might think that teens
Read More
Program Participant

Boosting His Physical and Mental Health

Why does Air Force veteran David Lithgow love the sport of rock climbing so much? One reason: life’s stresses seem to melt away when he
Read More
Employee

Delivering Behavioral Services into the Home and Community

Amber Rogers, program director of CHD’s In-Home Therapy and Therapeutic Mentoring services, started working at our agency a decade ago as a therapeutic training &
Read More
Employee

A Wraparound Approach to Children’s Mental Health

Kaitlin Perkins is a master’s-level clinician intern in CHD’s In-Home Therapy program. Our agency’s In-Home Therapy and Therapeutic Mentoring services are part of the Massachusetts
Read More
Program Participant

From Homeless to College Student

Bronwyn (who uses the pronouns they/them) grew up in the Las Vegas area in dysfunctional home in which they experienced years of abuse and neglect. When
Read More
Program Participant

“I was doing various things to ruin my life”

Havier doesn’t mince words when he describes how his mental health took a downturn after his adoptive father died nearly five years ago. “I was
Read More
Volunteer

Advocating for Foster Children in Court

Stefany Schaefer is a three-year volunteer for CHD’s Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Program of Hampden County, which works with Springfield and Holyoke Juvenile Courts—through
Read More
Employee

An Action Plan for Recovery

For Ada Landry, being a recovery coach is being “an advocate, cheerleader, and resource finder. Working with us, an individual can get around barriers in
Read More
Employee

Support for Those Who Need a Helping Hand

March is National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month—an opportune time to recognize the value of inclusion for this population, along the important work that direct care
Read More
Program Participant

Therapy That Doesn’t Seem Like Therapy

Studies have shown that art therapy can be valuable in helping those dealing with depression, anxiety, trauma, and addictions—and even some phobias. And art therapy
Read More
Employee

Making a Difference as an ICP Registered Nurse

Kristie Lopez had wanted to be a nurse since she was five years old. Always drawn to helping people, she began working for CHD a
Read More
Employee

A Growing—and Gratifying—Profession

What, exactly, is the role of a recovery coach? “It depends on who you ask,” said Matthew Johnson with a smile. Johnson, the recovery coach
Read More
Program Participant

Some Help Can Go a Long Way

Paul, who uses our agency’s Adult Mental Health-Springfield services, is grateful for having CHD in his life for the past six years. He had lived
Read More
Program Participant

Getting Back Her Family—and Her Future

When Courtney looks at the root of her substance use disorder, she recalls making bad choices in her teenage years, when she first started using
Read More
Program Participant

Improving Mental Health Through Art

Barbara Thresher-Morrison, a participant in art therapy groups offered by CHD’s Psychiatric Day Treatment program in Springfield, said that the artistic activities she has been
Read More
Program Participant

Inspired, Motivated, and Dedicated

Jovani said that before his treatment at CHD’s Aster House, he was letting let his temper and impulsiveness run his life—into the ground. “For me,
Read More
Program Participant

“I Wanted Something Better”

Danielle has been a resident of CHD’s Aster House in South Hadley for only two months, and she is already impressed with her progress in
Read More
Program Participant

Treating Addiction—and Trauma

Crystal lives at CHD’s Grace House in Northampton with her 13-year-old son, Kayden. In a therapeutic setting, Grace House provides up to 14 families with
Read More
Employee

Helping Mothers in Recovery—and Their Children

Jennifer Kent, program director of CHD’s Grace House, one of the few residential treatment programs designed for mothers in western Massachusetts, says the favorite part
Read More
Program Participant

A Family's Fresh Start

Elizabeth, a recent graduate of CHD’s Grace House in Northampton, is grateful for the team at one of the few residential recovery treatment programs designed
Read More
Employee

Steps in the Right Direction

Sandy Severin-Pansecchi is the administrative manager at FIRST Steps Together in Pittsfield, which provides peer coaching and parenting support for parents that are pregnant or postpartum,
Read More
Volunteer

An Advocate for Vulnerable Children

Emily Sheridan, one of the seven new volunteers in CHD’s Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Program of Hampden County, is used to working with children—and
Read More
Employee

Dedicated to the Youth We Serve

James Samuel has always enjoyed working with kids and teens. Although he has a financial services background—at present he is a quality assurance consultant for
Read More
Employee

Helping Recovering Parents Thrive

For Jennifer Hinton, a family recovery support specialist at CHD’s FIRST Steps Together in Pittsfield, helping moms become better parents is her way of making
Read More
Program Participant

All the Right (Dance) Moves

Cammie, a 17-year-old athlete in CHD’s All In: Barrier Free Recreation’s adaptive dance program, likes to dance to country music in her wheelchair—but she also
Read More
Volunteer

Volunteer Extraordinaire

Deb Napier, a volunteer for CHD’s Not Bread Alone (NBA) community meal program at the First Congregational Church of Amherst, is a weekly fixture in
Read More
Volunteer

Fighting Food Insecurity

Brenna Jorgensen, a junior at UMass Amherst majoring in Education and Social Change, is a volunteer at CHD’s Not Bread Alone community meal program in
Read More
Program Participant

Racing Toward His Goals

To call Troy Cronin “driven” and “tenacious” would be understating his willpower. He simply refuses to let anything stop him from reaching his goals—even though
Read More
Employee

A True Champion for a Trauma Victim

Nilsa Fernandez, who has been with CHD’s Adult Mental Health (AMH) team in Springfield for eight years, was recently recognized by the Springfield Police Department
Read More
Program Participant

Recovery as a Saving Grace

In the summer of 2020, Casey knew she had to drastically change her life when she overdosed twice. This happened after her children, who were
Read More
Employee

Service delivery, redefined

For more than 16 years, Donald has been working with individuals who are in the grips of addiction to help them access community-based supports to
Read More
Volunteer

Giving kids a loving place to call home

When Sabrina first became a foster parent, she was inspired by the opportunity to provide kids in the community a safe and loving home, while
Read More
Volunteer

Commitment to the community and kids in need

For John Dowd, becoming a volunteer with CHD’s Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Hampden County was the sum of many experiences, all of which
Read More
Program Participant

A mom’s recovery journey

When she first referred herself for CHD’s FIRST Steps Together program in Pittsfield, MA, Ivy was only the second participant to join the new, evidence-based
Read More
Program Participant

Progress and proven results

When Laura’s son Raymond was seven years old, he began exhibiting signs of intense anger when his parents divorced. After being connected to an outpatient
Read More
Volunteer

The impact and joys of fostering

Josefina has been a foster parent for nearly 20 years. She took her first case—twin girls—when a mother she’d known for years had a case
Read More
Program Participant

Taking strides toward stability and self-sufficiency

For over two years, Jonatan was a resident of CHD’s Crossover program in Hartford, CT, one of CHD’s Residential Rehabilitation Services (RRS) serving individuals with
Read More
Volunteer

Working to reverse the cycle

Mary Andrewes has been a volunteer for CHD’s Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Hampden County for over six years, and she’s been a dedicated advocate for children in need for even longer.  A retired educator
Read More
Employee

Helping kids hone their problem-solving skills

Deveron McCummings has been a Therapeutic Mentor (TM) with CHD’s Children’s Behavioral Health Initiative (CBHI) services for over three years, working with a range of
Read More
Program Participant

A journey 15 years in the making

When Corey Smith was about 15, she ran into some behavioral trouble that led her through a series of residential treatment programs in her journey
Read More
Volunteer

Compassion from someone who understands

After Jan lost both her husband and mother to cancer, she wanted to do something to help others through this difficult diagnosis. She chose to
Read More
Volunteer

Meet Aaron Morrison

Aaron has been a volunteer for CHD All In: Barrier-Free Recreation Sled Hockey program for nine years. With the program, Aaron has helped coach the
Read More
Donor

A legacy of change-making

The Barnharts have been with CHD from the beginning. Their work to enhance the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities has set the
Read More
Donor

Filling the gap with love

Founder and CEO of Pride Stores Bob Bolduc and his wife Roberta support the community in a variety of ways, their main focus being children,
Read More
Donor

A survivor gives back

As lead help desk technician at CHD, the very nature of Joe’s role is to lend a helping hand. During business hours, Joe solves IT
Read More
Program Participant

After tragedy, a heartfelt donation

In 2015, Johnathan and Jillian were struggling to make ends meet. They had full-time jobs and aspirations of making it in the music business. They
Read More
Program Participant

Making progress against the odds

Shannon has loved horses since she was little, even working on horse farms as an adult. “I want to work with animals again,” she says.
Read More
Program Participant

A full-circle success story

In 2017, Julio’s home in Puerto Rico was destroyed by Hurricane Maria. His family lived on an outdoor basketball court for nearly a week before
Read More
Program Participant

Youth, revisited

At 17, Omar never thought he’d be chasing sobriety. In high school, he began smoking weed and drinking beer. It felt manageable — almost like
Read More
Employee

Treating participants like family

There are many factors that go into the outreach, intake, shelter, and housing of those at risk of instability. From readying apartments to ensuring that
Read More
Employee

The power of nature to heal

It’s a sunny day in late November. Skies are blue, but the wind whipping off Quabbin Reservoir is unforgiving. Bob is in his element. Years
Read More
Employee

"We've walked in their shoes."

Jerome was living a satisfying young life. He had a supportive family and friends, earned good grades, loved music, and had a well-paying job. That
Read More
Employee

Born to Find Solutions

For Francine, problem solving has always come naturally. Since adolescence, friends and family have been seeking her advice. “I’ve always loved to brainstorm and figure
Read More