Two things have remained constant in the Child and Family Guidance Center’s 90+ year history—the need for affordable mental health services and champions to advocate for them.
On September 1, 1925, the Bridgeport Mental Hygiene Clinic—the third of its kind in Connecticut—opened its doors. The inspiration behind the clinic’s creation came from wealthy businessman Clifford W. Beers, who was instrumental in the establishment of the Connecticut Society for Mental Hygiene. Beers himself suffered from mental illness, and could afford the very best treatment. Knowing that many people could not pay for treatment of any kind, he rallied a group of business people in Bridgeport to support this new venture. With an operating budget of $5424, we started out with a staff of two, providing free mental health care in Bridgeport several days each week.
Three name changes and three Bridgeport locations later, the Child and Family Guidance Center is now located at 180 Fairfield Avenue. With an operating budget of $11 million, we have a staff of 125 people and operate three satellite offices in Fairfield, Stratford, and Norwalk.
Our sixteen programs have helped thousands of people in Fairfield County, with the majority of our work being done in Greater Bridgeport and Greater Norwalk. Across all of our programs, we strive to increase the emotional well-being of the people we serve and create stable and nurturing environments for children.