AGAWAM, Mass. (WWLP) – Behavioral Health Network (BHN) is set to mark a significant milestone with the grand opening of its innovative Youth Community Crisis Stabilization (YCCS) facility, situated at 8:30 Silver Street in Agawam.

The anticipated inauguration will be celebrated with an open house event on Friday, September 8, commencing at 9 a.m. Distinguished attendees, including representatives from BHN, local elected officials, and delegates from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, will participate in this significant event.

The YCCS facility is a collaborative effort between BHN and The Gandara Center. It will be home to The Village for Youth, a comprehensive program designed to provide on-site short-term crisis stabilization, therapeutic interventions, and specialized services for children and adolescents within a secure environment.

This new establishment represents a commendable enhancement and replacement for BHN’s previous youth-focused Community Based Acute Treatment Program (CBAT), which has successfully operated at 385 Maple Street in Springfield for the past eight years. The YCCS initiative is set to provide similar care to CBAT, but with an upgraded focus on enhanced psychiatry and nursing resources. The Springfield Maple Street facility will subsequently be repurposed for another program.

The primary objective of the youth program is to create a secure sanctuary that offers round-the-clock safety supervision, intensive therapy, comprehensive medication assessment and treatment, as well as support for families as they transition back to their homes.

Highlighting the significance of this development, Steve Winn, President and CEO of BHN, stated, “The expansion of intensive youth residential treatment services coincides with the state’s Community Behavioral Health Center initiative. We are addressing a distinct community need and aligning our efforts with the establishment of the BHN WellBeing clinic earlier this year.”

The upgraded facility is expected to extend its reach to a larger number of individuals, accommodating up to 22 children and youth. Specialized units will cater to different age groups, with dedicated sections for younger participants (6-11 years) and older ones (12-18 years). The program is designed to be regional, making it accessible to children from various areas across western Massachusetts.

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