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The NCRMHB was establishedin 1974 with a legislative mandate to ensure grass roots involvement in identifying needs, promoting access to services, and monitoring the services funded and provided by the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS). This visionary structure provides consumer, family, and citizen involvement in evaluating the mental health services provided to our constituents. Through NCRMHB local citizens have a direct impact on the mental health services recieved by Hartford County residents.
The NCRMHB has a strong history of community collaboration and works in partnership with other community agencies and interest groups to bring consensus and resolution to a wide range of issues affecting individuals with mental illness. Through its outreach efforts and strong community connections, the program provides linkage for our residents to many resources within the community and addresses a wide range of issues that are barriers to service access. The NCRMHB works through six local Catchment Area Councils (CACs) within Hartford County to ensure grass roots involvement in identifying needs and monitoring services provided by the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS). Members of CACs are selected to represent all constituent groups - consumers of services, family members of consumers, town representatives, and private and public providers of mental health and other community services. The NCRMHB examines issues from the varied perspectives of these constituent groups. Mental health issues are not isolated issues, but involve questions of general health, public safety, criminal justice, education, housing, and employment. Through regular contact with consumers, formal evaluations, and special studies, members identify service gaps and deficiencies. Their evaluations have resulted in DMHAS decisions to increase funding where service needs were identified, as well as to reduce or eliminate funding where programs were not effectively serving consumers.