CHD Blog

We're passionate about creating healthy futures for families across our region. See how we're innovating to meet critical needs and rise to the challenges ahead.

July 12, 2024

UMass International Students Volunteer at Not Bread Alone

UMass Amherst exchange students from Africa and the Middle East recently did some volunteer work at CHD’s Not Bread Alone community meal program in Amherst.
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July 2, 2024

CHD in the News—All In: Barrier-Free Recreation’s Curling Program

On June 30, The Westfield News/ published a story about CHD’s All In: Barrier-Free Recreation curling event at Amelia Park Arena in Westfield on June
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June 18, 2024

CHD Stimulant Use Disorder Treatment Program Receives Award

The overdose crisis in the US has long been associated with opioids, but there has also been a steady rise in the use of stimulants:
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June 15, 2024

In Washington, D.C., CHD Leaders Advocate for Better Access to Care and Workforce Resources

CHD’s Senior Vice President of Medical Services Dr. Jalil Johnson; Vice President of Community Engagement Ben Craft (both far left); and Christy O’Brien, Senior Program
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June 14, 2024

Three CHD CASA Volunteers Sworn in at Springfield Juvenile Court

Three new volunteers in CHD’s Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Program of Hampden County were sworn into the court’s service as child advocates by First Justice Lois
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June 13, 2024

Garden Party Celebrates “Grand Reveal” of Greenhouse in Connecticut

The gentlemen of CHD’s Iris House in New Hartford, CT marked the opening of their greenhouse project on May 30 with a special 1930s-themed garden
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June 11, 2024

Western Mass Mom Prom Donates $25,000 to Cancer House of Hope

On June 10, the Western Mass Mom Prom (WMMP) presented the Cancer House of Hope with an extremely generous donation of $25,000 to help fund
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May 30, 2024

Innovative Care Partners: Sowing the Seeds for Staff Appreciation

Innovation Care Partners (ICP) had a planting event on May 17 in which staff came to the lawn on Hillside Circle in West Springfield to
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May 20, 2024

Open House Celebrates Important New CHD Resource: Prospect Center

CHD’s soon-to-open Prospect Center in East Longmeadow hosted an open house on May 17. This resource will provide mental health counseling in individual and group
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May 9, 2024

Planting a Garden—and Improving Mental Health—at Lotus Home

Staff at CHD’s Lotus Home in Hartford were busy in the backyard recently—building and painting raised garden beds and planting such vegetables as tomatoes, cucumbers,
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May 1, 2024

Our Connecticut Programs Join Hartford Rally for More Nonprofit Funding

CHD staff and individuals served by our Connecticut programs joined many others at the Rally for Nonprofit Funding at the State Capital in Hartford on
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April 29, 2024

“Ribbon Tying” Celebrates Innovative Primary Care Program

On April 26, CHD held a “Ribbon Tying” event at our newly renovated Outpatient Behavioral Health Clinic on Park Street in West Springfield. A ribbon
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March 29, 2024

Taylor Scannapieco Honored with Game Changer Award

Taylor Scannapieco, a caseworker for youth that are placed in CHD’s comprehensive Foster Care program, was recognized as a “Game Changer” during a March 23
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March 25, 2024

Neilsen Foundation Grant Supports All In Program's Sled Hockey Silver Medal Effort at Empire State Games

The Springfield Thunderbirds Sled Hockey Team finished the prestigious tournament with a championship loss, but it certainly didn’t end on a sour note, as they
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March 21, 2024

Tammy Nothe-Hebert Speaks at Elder Support Event in Hadley

On March 6, CHD Vice President of Disability and Elder Services Tammy Nothe-Hebert was one of four speakers at a seminar entitled “Sage Stage of
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March 15, 2024

CHD Early Intervention Presentation Addresses Child Feeding Difficulties

Early Intervention (EI) efforts for children are usually associated with helping them learn to walk and talk, along with gaining cognitive and emotional progress. But
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March 6, 2024

Kimberly Williams Named Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging Officer at CHD

Kimberly Williams has joined CHD as Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) Officer, bringing to the agency more than 27 years of HR experience supporting
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January 31, 2024

CASA to Take Part in Information Sessions and Panel Discussions

CHD’s Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Hampden County is seeking new volunteers to serve as advocates for children in need in the community. There
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January 4, 2024

CHD Supportive Housing Program in Connecticut Receives $15,000 Grant

Connecticut Community Foundation (CCF) recently awarded a $15,636 grant to CHD to enhance its targeted case management to unhoused individuals it serves in Connecticut. The
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January 2, 2024

CASA to Hold Virtual Information Sessions for New Volunteers

CHD’s Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Hampden County is seeking new volunteers to serve as advocates for children in need in the community. There
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December 10, 2023

Youths Working on “Grinch” Project in DYS Gingerbread House Contest

With the help of a donation of surplus newspapers from The Republican newspaper in Springfield, youths from CHD’s Community Adolescent Treatment (CAT) program on Worthington
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December 10, 2023

CHD Receives $75,000 CVS Health Foundation Grant to Support Behavioral Health Services

CHD was recently awarded a $75,000 grant from the CVS Health Foundation to help launch the agency’s innovative reverse-integrated primary care model at its Certified
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December 9, 2023

CHD Partners with Community for Holiday Tree Giveaway in Springfield

The Massachusetts Department of Youth Services (DYS) partnered with CHD’s Juvenile Justice programs and Martin Luther King Jr. Family Services for a Holiday Tree Jubilee
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November 30, 2023

Literacy Project at CHD Clinic Gets Books into the Hands of Families

Katelyn Tower (right), a clinical supervisor at our Park Street Behavioral Health Outpatient Clinic in West Springfield, and Silkia Gonzalez, an administrative assistant at the
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November 29, 2023

Susan Raimer Honored with Game Changer Award

Susan Raimer, a homefinder for the CHD’s Foster Care Program for 25 years, was recognized as a “Game Changer” during a November 17 home game
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October 26, 2023

CASA of Hampden County Book Club Meets Monthly

Eight volunteers from CHD’s Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Hampden County, recently gathered at CHD’s Children and Families Offices on Park Street in West
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October 25, 2023

CHD Recruiters on College Campuses—and in Connecticut!

CHD Recruitment and Onboarding Coordinator Coral Vega is pictured at a career fair at Westfield State University on October 12, and Recruitment Coordinator for Connecticut
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October 10, 2023

$1 Million Federal Grant to Boost CHD Behavioral Health Services

CHD recently received a $1 million grant from the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to integrate primary care and behavioral health
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October 7, 2023

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hampshire County Receives $30,000 Grant

Cooley Dickinson Hospital recently awarded CHD’s Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) of Hampshire County a $30,000 Supporting Youth Wellbeing grant to support BIPOC (Black, Indigenous,
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October 4, 2023

Forum Helps Parents Understand Their Teens' Intense Emotional Lives

CHD sponsored the Springfield Public Forum’s Speaking Event, “The Emotional Lives of Teenagers,” with Dr. Lisa Damour on October 2. Damour is the author of three
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September 8, 2023

CHD to Sponsor “The Emotional Lives of Teenagers” Talk on October 2

On October 2, CHD will sponsor a talk, “The Emotional Lives of Teenagers,” at 6:00 p.m. online on Zoom, featuring Dr. Lisa Damour, a clinical
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August 14, 2023

John Roberson Named Chief Program Officer at CHD

John Roberson has joined CHD as Chief Program Officer, bringing to our agency an extensive background in leadership and operations for community-based residential programs and
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May 26, 2023

Guest Speakers at CHD CASA Training Include Springfield Juvenile Court Judge

Two special guests from the Springfield Juvenile Court, Judge Carol Shaw (Circuit Justice) and Zoé Dos Santos (Massachusetts Specialty Court program coordinator) shared their expertise
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May 24, 2023

CHD Staff Advocate for Legislative Proposals at the State House in Boston

On May 16, a contingent of CHD employees attended a rally at the State House in Boston to urge the passage of two bills that would
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May 22, 2023

Tracey Decker named CHD’s Chief Operating Officer

Tracey Decker has joined CHD as the Chief Operating Officer, bringing to our agency extensive leadership experience in integrated healthcare operations, including behavioral health. For
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March 28, 2023

CHD’s Hawthorn Adult Day Health a Stimulating, Life-Enriching Program

Pictured at Hawthorn ADH in West Springfield (L-R): Clinical Coordinator Rebecca Kessler, Assistant Manager Shannon Reyes, and CHD Director of Adult Day Services Audrey Monroe.
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March 22, 2023

Stress Relief Coloring Poster a Big Hit at Goodwin House

Employees at Goodwin House, CHD’s residential substance use treatment center serving boys aged 13-17 recently installed a stress relief coloring poster for staff, and it’s proving
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March 2, 2023

A Growing Mental Health Crisis Among Teen Girls—Locally and Nationally

A recent report shared by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) details record-high levels of sadness and despair among teenagers in America—and
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February 27, 2023

CASA to Hold Virtual and In-Person Information Sessions for New Volunteers in March

CHD’s Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Hampden County is seeking new volunteers to serve as advocates for children in need in the community. There
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February 23, 2023

VIEWPOINT: Western Massachusetts has Cause for Hope on Front Lines of Behavioral Health

The following op-ed was published in The Republican newspaper of Springfield on February 23, 2023. By Jalil A. Johnson & Lindsay Morin Ciepiela | CHD For too long,
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February 21, 2023

Celebrating Black History Month: Harrison Fitch a UConn Trailblazer During a Difficult Time

(L-R) CHD employee Yvonne Fitch, UConn basketball player Tyrese Martin, Yvonne’s Uncle Harrison Brooks Fitch Jr., and UConn player RJ Cole. In February of 2022,
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February 9, 2023

Skincare Company Donates 120 “Pouches with Purpose” to Cancer House of Hope

For the past four years, a group of New England-based women who work at Beautycounter, a “clean beauty” company, have been providing free “Pouches with
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February 7, 2023

Winter Walk Raises Awareness and Funds to End Homelessness

A contingent from CHD participated in the inaugural Winter Walk Western Mass. on February 5, a two-mile walk through downtown Springfield and a joyful celebration
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February 6, 2023

Cancer House of Hope Members Say Early Cancer Detection Can Save Lives

The message is clear: get screened for cancer early, before you get symptoms, and there is a good chance it will be caught when it’s
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January 24, 2023

$10,000 PeoplesBank Grant Funds Graduation Package for CHD Foster Youth

(L-R) CHD Vice President of Children and Families Alton Jones; Cassandra Hildreth, assistant program director of CHD’s Court Appointed Special Advocates Program and DYS Transition
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January 18, 2023

CASA to Hold Virtual Information Sessions for New Volunteers in February

CHD’s Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Hampden County is seeking new volunteers to serve as advocates for children in need in the community. Program
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January 17, 2023

CHD in the News: The Republican Coverage of the Opening of Gateway, CHD's New Community Behavioral Health Center

CHICOPEE — Less than 14 hours after a new all-service mental health clinic opened on Tuesday, social workers had already set up treatment plans for
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January 12, 2023

Walmart Grant Helps Fund Sports Wheelchair for All In Basketball Program

Thanks to a Walmart Giving grant of $750, CHD’s All In: Barrier-Free Recreation program will be able to purchase a sports wheelchair for its newly
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January 10, 2023

Hospitality Center Receives $15,000 Grant for Narcan and Supportive Services

CHD’s Hospitality Center in Waterbury, CT, is a haven for people experiencing homelessness. One of its main goals—aside from meeting such basic needs as providing
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January 4, 2023

State Awards Innovative Care Partners with Contracts for Behavioral Health and Long Term Services and Supports

Innovative Care Partners (ICP), a partnership among CHD, ServiceNet, and Gandara Mental Health Center, was recently awarded Community Partner contracts by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
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December 28, 2022

CHD in the News: Waterbury Republican-American Coverage of Grant for Our Torrington Programs

The Waterbury Republican-American newspaper recently interviewed Paul Tang, CHD director of Adult Mental Health (AMH)-Connecticut, and Dana Mihaylo, program manager for AMH-Connecticut, as well as
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December 9, 2022

Grant Helps Individuals Served in CHD's Torrington, CT Residential Programs

Thanks to an $800 grant from the Northwest Connecticut Community Foundation, individuals served in CHD’s Torrington, CT programs will be provided with food, gas, and
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November 17, 2022

CASA Program to Hold Virtual Info Sessions for New Volunteers

Since 1977, the Center for Human Development’s Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Hampden County have been speaking up for kids who can’t. CASA gives
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November 3, 2022

Program Spotlight: Hawthorn Adult Day Health

An exercise session at Hawthorn Day Health. Caregivers of elderly parents or loved ones with disabilities often face many challenges, including the decision to leave
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October 28, 2022

Panel Discusses the Role of the CBHC in Meeting Behavioral Health Needs

At a panel discussion on October 27, participants were enthusiastic about the potential of the state’s new Community Behavioral Health Center (CBHC) model in improving
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October 24, 2022

CHD Celebrates 50 Years of Profound Impact on Communities

For youth mental health activist Diana Chao, the keynote speaker at CHD’s 50th Anniversary Celebration dinner on October 20, our agency’s mission to help those
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September 6, 2022

Majestic Theater Donates 75 Tickets to CHD Foster Kids for “Schoolhouse Rock Live! Jr.” Show

Majestic Theater Box Office Manager Katia Ball (left) and Rebecca Kudelka, a volunteer for CHD’s Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Hampden County Last July,
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September 2, 2022

"Art Show on State" in Springfield Provides Valuable Creative Outlet

We couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful late-summer day for the “Art Show on State” in Springfield on August 31! The well-attended event featured
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September 1, 2022

How Grace House Helps Mothers in Recovery—and Their Children

Elizabeth, a recent graduate of CHD’s Grace House in Northampton, is grateful for the team at one of the few residential treatment programs designed for
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August 30, 2022

Hospitality Center Marks a Decade of Helping the Homeless in Waterbury, CT

Fernando (pictured), a regular visiting member of the CHD’s Hospitality Center in Waterbury, CT, recently moved into his own apartment, but he continues to come
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August 24, 2022

CHD’s Hospitality Center, a Safe Haven for the Homeless, to Celebrate 10th Anniversary

CHD’s Hospitality Center in Waterbury, CT a place where people experiencing homelessness can take care of basic needs so they can move toward stability, is
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August 12, 2022

Early Intervention Program Supervisor Cindy Napoli Attends National Breastfeeding Month Celebration

CHD Early Intervention Program Supervisor Cindy Napoli attended the City of Springfield’s Flag Raising Ceremony for the National Breastfeeding Month Kickoff on August 1. Napoli,
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July 21, 2022

Team Effort: CHD's Early Intervention Program Partners with Parents to Improve Their Children's Development

Pictured: CHD Early Intervention Program Supervisor Cindy Napoli and Linkyn When Jessica McClintock’s baby was born prematurely, he required a feeding tube and breathing tube,
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July 12, 2022

Alton Jones Named CHD’s VP of Children and Families

Alton Jones has joined CHD as the VP of Children and Families, bringing to the agency more than 25 years of experience in the human
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July 11, 2022

State Designates CHD a Community Behavioral Health Center

On July 7, the state Executive Office of Health and Human Services announced that CHD is one 25 behavioral health and substance use providers in Massachusetts
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July 1, 2022

Going Places: Two Teens in CHD’s Family Shelter System Honored by Holyoke Public Schools

A pair of youths served by CHD’s family shelter system have recently earned Rising Stars awards from the Holyoke Public Schools. This is the most
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June 27, 2022

CHD’s All In: Barrier-Free Recreation Program—Making Sports More Inclusive One Athlete at a Time

Giovanni Durocher (pictured), an 18-year-old athlete in CHD’s All In Barrier-Free Recreation Adaptive Dance Program, has no problem cutting loose on the dance floor, and
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June 6, 2022

CHD Launches New Brand, Including Logo, Color Palette, Tagline and Anthem Video

The Center for Human Development (CHD) is proud to launch its new brand today, presenting a fresh look and statement of its mission and values
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June 1, 2022

Western Mass Mom Prom Donates $20,000 to CHD’s Cancer House of Hope

(L-R) Cancer House of Hope (CHH) volunteer Jill Shinners, Western Mass Mom Prom (WMMP) Committee member Eva Dion, CHH volunteer April Lassard, CHH Program Director
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May 24, 2022

CHD's Not Bread Alone: Serving Delicious Meals with a Side of Community

Program Supervisor and Volunteer Coordinator Bob Stover receives produce from an Amherst Farmer. It’s a Wednesday afternoon at CHD’s Not Bread Alone (NBA) community meals
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May 20, 2022

CHD-led Building Restoration Wins Historic Preservation Award

The historic Sears Building in Greenfield, now the Greenfield Center for Wellness—co-run by CHD and the Community Health Center of Franklin County (CHCFC)—was one of
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May 16, 2022

Showing Our Human Services Pride During Caring Force Spirit Week

The week of May 16-20 is Caring Force Spirit Week! We are wearing our gold Providers’ Council “The Caring Force” T-shirts to show support for
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May 9, 2022

Marlo Connor Named CHD's Chief Operating Officer

Marlo Connor has joined CHD as the Chief Operating Officer, bringing to our agency a diverse background, including a strong history in executive leadership and
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March 22, 2022

Cancer House of Hope Offers a New, Alternative Option for Its Members: Hypnosis

“I don’t do stage hypnosis—I don’t make people cluck like chickens. What I do is help everyday people with everyday problems.” —Certified Hypnotist Lee Callagher
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February 22, 2022

Healing Franklin County: An Innovative Project Helps Individuals Leaving Jail Beat Addiction and Connect with Community Resources

For many former prisoners transitioning back into their communities, the cycle of re-incarceration is difficult to break. And studies show that released inmates who have
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February 1, 2022

CHD’s All In Barrier-Free Recreation: Watch the Thunderbirds Sled Hockey Team Hit the Ice

The WWLP-22 TV show Mass Appeal visited a Springfield Thunderbirds sled hockey team practice, took footage of participants playing, and interviewed several players, parents, and
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January 31, 2022

CHD Announces Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Plan

CHD recently released its Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) Plan, which outlines ongoing efforts—as well as immediate and longer-term goals— to “build an inclusive culture
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January 28, 2022

CHD IN THE NEWS: Waterbury Fights to Keep Homeless Warm Amid Dropping Temperatures

Lori Walling is program manager at the Center for Human Development’s Hospitality Center, 690 East Main St., in Waterbury. Photo: Jay Dunn Waterbury Republican-American January
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January 27, 2022

CHD Part of Collaboration to Open Pop-up Warming Shelter for Holyoke Homeless

Marisabel Perez, field operations manager for CHD’s Diversion, Shelter, and Housing program, and outreach worker Carlos William, who has been homeless for eight years, grabbed
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December 20, 2021

An Epidemic Within a Pandemic

In November, The White House called for improving access to mental health services and care for the nation’s youth, citing significant increases in the number experiencing
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December 9, 2021

Seven CHD CASA Volunteers Sworn in at Springfield Juvenile Court

The courtroom can be a scary, confusing place for a child. That’s where CHD’s Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Program of Hampden County comes in,
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September 9, 2021

An Honest Mom’s Take on the Food-Mood Connection

I’ve struggled with my weight most of my life. I was a skinny kid until puberty had other plans. The dieting began in my pre-teens.
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September 2, 2021

Mental Health in Flux

Since the early days of COVID-19 we’ve been experiencing periods of change that happen quickly, sometimes without warning, and impact us in huge ways. In
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August 27, 2021

Confronting stigma in substance use, recovery and harm reduction

People in recovery and people active in substance use have each encountered barriers to supportive recovery services and life-saving measures like harm reduction resources long
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July 30, 2021

An Honest Mom’s Take On Birthdays

Ah, the day you were born. That special day that comes around each year. Everyone has a different relationship with their birthday. Some celebrate happily,
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June 23, 2021

Summer Reading for Mental Health

I’ve always enjoyed reading. As a young girl I loved Beverly Cleary and Judy Blume and devoured the Sweet Valley and Babysitter’s Club series. As
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May 21, 2021

An Honest Mom’s Take on Anxiety and Panic

Last month my son spent his school break in the Bahamas with his father. I suppose a benefit he gets as a child of divorce
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April 28, 2021

An Honest Mom’s Take on Mother’s Day

Over a year ago, many of us were adapting to an entirely new way of working, parenting and homeschooling. It’s no secret that COVID-19 has
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April 23, 2021

The Resilience of ‘Superheroes’:

When the pandemic first struck the community, it was a frightening and uncertain time for all. For some CHD foster parents, it meant navigating ‘the
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April 13, 2021

An Honest Mom’s Take on Caring for Aging Parents

My parents will turn 75 this year. Although in fairly maintained health, both suffer from some chronic illnesses like diabetes, high blood pressure, and arthritis.
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March 27, 2021

Empowering informed decision-making

Peer Support Supervisor for CHD’s Adult Mental Health team in Holyoke Jeffrey Bass and CHD’s Director of Recovery Supports Andy Beresky were recently invited to
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March 4, 2021

An Honest Mom’s Take on ‘Gray Area’ Drinking

It’s been six months since I decided to stop drinking for 30 days. Some of you may have read my blog post about that experience.
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February 23, 2021

'Independence, exercise, and a chance to be outside':

New Englanders are no strangers to winters filled with snow, sleet and cold temperatures. While they certainly know how to brave the cold, they also
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February 19, 2021

Prolonged Stress, Physical Health, & the ‘Vortex’ of Being Home

The American Psychological Association recently reported that in February 2021, U.S. adults have recorded their highest levels of stress since the early days of the
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January 26, 2021

‘All the Difference in the World’

When COVID-19 began to affect the community in March 2020, CHD’s Early Intervention team quickly adapted the way they provide support to families so they
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November 17, 2020

Insight into engagement challenges & solutions for leaders during COVID-19

As an organization whose services reach a broad range of individuals for a diverse and growing set of needs, there are many ways CHD’s leaders
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October 8, 2020

Insight into youth recovery and remote learning during COVID-19

At CHD’s Goodwin House, a residential addiction treatment center that serves boys aged 13-17, residents are able to take a step back from their everyday
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October 1, 2020

An Honest Mom’s Take on Choosing Mental Health Over Alcohol

The following is written based on the author’s personal experience with a short-term abstinence from alcohol. The intent is to encourage people to examine their
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August 13, 2020

An Honest Mom's Take on Clutter Control

I recently did something I had thought about for years but never had the courage to go through with. I wanted something so badly, yet
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May 28, 2020

Welcome to the new digital home of CHD!

I’m excited to introduce you to our new website, the product of many months of hard work and creative thinking by many members of the
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