Community Fund awards grant to Child Guidance Center

TCF Awards 07142016 b (1)

Carrie Bernier, executive director of the Community Fund of Darien, Eliot Brenner, President and CEO of the Child Guidance Center of Southern Connecticut, and Amy Wilkinson, director of grants for the Community Fund of Darien

The Child Guidance Center of Southern Connecticut was awarded a $38,500 grant from The Community Fund of Darien  in support of their Emergency Mobile Psychiatric Services (EMPS) program.

CGC is the state’s designated EMPS provider to children and teens in Stamford, Greenwich, Darien and New Canaan, offering mobile services seven days a week, 365 days a year to stabilize crises. Children referred to the EMPS program often struggle with suicidal thoughts or attempts, self-harm, depression, extreme anxiety, or trauma. By dialing 2-1-1, children, families, school personnel, and other community organizations can request support in an emergency, and a CGC clinician will be onsite to provide immediate mental health services. When a child has the potential to harm their self or others, timely access to care is critical. Last year, CGC clinicians arrived at a client’s location in under 45 minutes to provide immediate intervention in 94% of the cases, well above the state’s requirement.

“CGC’s EMPS program helps ensure the safety of our community’s children, and that’s why TCF supports this cause,” said Carrier Bernier, the Community Fund of Darien Executive Director. “Ensuring that all children who are struggling with a mental illness, especially those who may potentially harm themselves or others, have access to immediate mental health services is very important to our organization, and that’s why we are proud to partner with CGC to provide this mobile program.”

EMPS, partially funded by the Department of Children and Families, charges no out-of-pocket fees to children and families using the program. Because EMPS is mobile, comprised of bilingual clinicians, and charges no fees, it eliminates three potential barriers that may hinder a person’s access to mental health care: transportation, language, and cost. EMPS is available by calling the Connecticut 211 hotline.

For over 65 years, The Community Fund of Darien has helped those in need, working to make our town the best it can be. Their grants to local nonprofits are targeted toward the most critical needs in Darien, Stamford and Norwalk. TheCommunity Fund is located at 30 Old Kings Hwy South in Darien. For more information, go to

CGC serves children, from birth to 18, in Stamford, Greenwich, Darien and New Canaan. CGC’s staff of psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers and other clinicians work with nearly 3,000 children annually, providing culturally competent and sensitive mental health care to families.

To learn more about CGC’s mental health services, please call CGC at (203) 324-6127 or visit