Women's Center of SECT to Re-establish Counseling Center in Norwich
Backus Hospital partners to provide space.
Services in desperate need restored.
NORWICH – The Women’s Center of Southeastern Connecticut is pleased to announce that after three summers, it will be re-opening a walk-in counseling and advocacy center in Norwich. The Center will be located within the Center for Mental Health at William H. Backus Hospital. Counseling and advocacy services will be offered on Mondays and Fridays, from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm, beginning on September 10th. No appointments are necessary and there is no charge to meet with a Women’s Center counselor. For more information, contact the Counseling Department at (860) 447-0366, extension 200.
In July 2009, non-profits around the country and the State of Connecticut were reeling from economic uncertainty. Each day brought more news of funding cuts. It was then, three summers ago, that the then Women’s Center made the difficult decision to close its Norwich counseling office. But from the moment the doors were closed, Cathy Zeiner, Executive Director, and her staff began working toward the goal of bringing walk-in counseling back to Norwich. It wasn’t a matter of whether or not to do it, but rather a matter of how and when.
Then, this fact became clear: with the closing of the Norwich counseling office, the number of people being served in Norwich dropped by approximately 450 annually. Clearly, the need for services in Norwich was high. The Women’s Center was determined to find the funds to restore this program.
“We are thrilled to be able to restore some of the services that were cut due to funding constraints when the economy soured,” says Catherine Zeiner, Executive Director of the Women’s Center. “What’s even better is to have the support of Backus Hospital. Our being in Norwich is critical for victims in that area that need support – coming to New London is not always feasible for everyone, and, the hotline is just not the same as meeting face-to-face with a counselor.”
“Providing quality health care involves addressing a patient's emotional and psychological concerns, not just dealing with physical issues," said Keith Fontaine, Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer at Backus Hospital. "Backus is proud to partner with the Women's Center of Southeastern Connecticut as they offer this important counseling service to individuals in need. It is another example of community collaboration that meets real needs and improves our region's health."
The Women’s Center, founded in 1976, operates two 24-hour hotlines, an emergency shelter and a transitional living program for families working to rebuild lives shattered by domestic violence or sexual assault. The Women’s Center also provides legal assistance, counseling and advocacy, case management, support groups and educational programs for schools as well as community groups. All 21 towns in New London County are served by the agency.
During 2011, the Women’s Center sheltered 105 women and children fleeing abuse in Genesis House, the emergency shelter for women and children; provided training and support to 65 women and their children in Phoenix House transitional living program; counseled 5,971 clients seeking assistance for domestic violence; and educated over 7000 members of the community in strategies to both prevent and recognize domestic violence and sexual assault. Services and shelter staffing now operate 24/7/365. For more information about the Women’s Center, visit www.womenscenterofsect.org.
WHAT: Norwich Counseling Center Re-Opens
WHO: Women’s Center of Southeastern Connecticut
WHERE: Within the Center for Mental Health at William H. Backus Hospital, 326 Washington Street, Norwich, CT
WHEN: Mondays and Fridays, 9:00 am- 5:00 pm, beginning September 10th
HOW: Walk-in appointments. There is no cost for services
For more information, call (860) 447-0366 x200.
The Women’s Center of Southeastern Connecticut is part of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence (CCADV). The Women’s Center is also a Partner Agency of United Way and its programs are funded in part by the State of Connecticut’s Departments of Social Service, Mental Health and Addiction Services, and Office of Victim Services, Judicial Branch.