SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held Friday for a new program aiming to address behavioral health needs in our community.

One of the primary goals of this program is to address behavioral health needs sooner and therefore cut down on the number of psychiatric patients waiting for care in ERs.

A celebration in Springfield for a newly renovated building and a new program called “BHN Wellbeing.” This new program, offered at Behavioral Health Network locations in Springfield and Westfield, is aimed at addressing acute mental health and substance abuse issues quickly.

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno and many state legislators in attendance, the new program officially started just after the new year.

“So far in January we’ve brought more than 200 people into care who needed it, who were on waitlists somewhere and we hope that number just continues to grow and grow, but we’re just going to build from here.” Steve Winn, President & Ceo of Behavioral Health Network

Jose has been working at BHN for 10 years and knows first hand this program is very much needed. “The need is so large that there are people waiting for months on waiting lists to see a clinician, so having this center that has the opportunity to be seen immediately when they call, that’s what we need to have in this area.” Jose Rosado, Vice President of Behavioral Health Network

The program is a part of the state’s new initiative to provide better care for people with behavioral health needs. BHN wellbeing offers services for adults, children, and non-English speakers. The center has therapists, psychiatrists, medicine, and more to quickly help people and families.

“When they’re ready to get off of drugs, you have to have the ability to accept them right then. Because when they leave they are going right back to the street you may never see them again.” State Representative Bud Williams

BHN WellBeing walk-in care is available at 417 Liberty Street in Springfield and 77 Mill St. in Westfield, Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information call 413-301-WELL (9355) or visit bhninc.org.