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Mental Health (REACH Program)


Bridgeport Hospital’s REACH Program offers an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP), which includes Medication Management and Outpatient Group Therapy for both adults and youth. The IOPs provide group-based treatment programs for those in need of intensive therapeutic services following a psychiatric hospitalization or to prevent a hospitalization. The programs are structured, supportive and use a variety of group therapy interventions within a nurturing environment to help patients achieve their treatment goals. The IOPs offer consistent engagement with a board-certified psychiatrist and/or psychiatric nurse practitioner, providing ongoing support throughout the patient's treatment journey, which involves in-person sessions tailored for medication management services.

All psychiatric treatment services within the IOP are offered in a specialized facility separate from the hospital. As a part of Yale New Haven Health, Bridgeport Hospital can facilitate access to YNHHS experts for patients and families enrolled in the REACH Program.

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Areas of Expertise

  • Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)
  • Medication Management
  • Outpatient Group Therapy


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REACH Adults and Youth Outpatient Psychiatric Programs - Bridgeport

Program Details

Adult Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)

A group-based treatment program designed for adults ages 18 and older in need of intensive therapeutic services following a psychiatric hospitalization or to prevent a hospitalization. The program is structured, supportive and uses a variety of group therapy interventions to help increase coping skills to manage symptoms, improve interpersonal and problem-solving skills and prevent relapse. The IOP provides three hours of group-based treatment 3-4 days a week for a period of 6-8 weeks. The IOP also encompasses continuous consultations with a board-certified psychiatrist and/or psychiatric nurse practitioner throughout a patient's treatment, incorporating regular in-person sessions dedicated to medication management services. Specialized programs within the Mental Health IOP provide treatment for:

  • Individuals with mood disorders, specifically, depression, anxiety and/or bipolar disorder
  • Individuals with co-occurring disorders, specifically mental health and substance/alcohol abuse
  • Individuals with persistent mental illness and/or thought process disorders
  • Individuals primarily suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder, phobias, and other anxiety disorders

Symptoms that may indicate a need for treatment include:

  • Depression
  • Mood swings
  • Social isolation
  • Anxiety and panic
  • Loss of motivation or energy
  • Auditory or visual hallucinations
  • Appetite or sleep disturbance
  • Restlessness or agitation
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Unwanted or intrusive thoughts that cause significant anxiety or distress (“I might get sick” or “I might hurt someone”)
  • Repetitive or excessive behavior like handwashing, cleaning, counting, praying

Adult OCD and Anxiety Disorders

The OCD and Anxiety disorders treatment track is an adult intensive outpatient program for individuals with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and impairing anxiety disorders. OCD includes unwanted or intrusive thoughts, images, or urges (obsessions) that cause distress. Individuals suffering from OCD engage in repetitive behaviors or thoughts (compulsions) that temporarily alleviate the distress caused by the obsessions. Similarly, individuals with impairing anxiety, such as phobias, experience excessive fear and often engage in persistent avoidance behaviors. The IOP provides three hours of treatment 4 days a week for a period of 8-10 weeks. Additionally, the IOP incorporates continuous consultation with a board-certified psychiatrist and/or psychiatric nurse practitioner throughout a patient’s treatment, encompassing regular in-person sessions for medication management services.

Addressing OCD and Anxiety

Patients who have OCD or anxiety feel fear or distress followed by the need to engage in compulsions or avoidance to feel better. This relief is only temporary, however, and fear often returns stronger than before.

The Adult OCD and Anxiety Disorders Track at REACH is designed to break this cycle. This is done through an evidence-based technique called cognitive-behavioral therapy with exposure. The program is highly structured and individualized. With this technique, REACH staff encourage gradual, supported approaches of feared experiences. It includes individualized interventions in a group environment that increase one’s ability to face feared experiences in a safe and tolerable way.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy with exposure is recommended for OCD and anxiety disorders by National organizations including the International OCD Foundation, American Psychological Association, American Psychiatric Association, and Anxiety and Depression Association of America.

Symptoms That May Indicate A Need For Treatment

Unwanted or intrusive thoughts that cause significant anxiety or distress:

  • “I might get sick.”
  • “I might hurt someone.”
  • “I might be contaminated by dirt, germs, or feces.”
  • “Something bad might happen to me.”
  • “My appearance is wrong” (e.g., “my nose is too big”).
  • “Everything needs to be ‘just right.’”
  • “I repeatedly doubt my own memory.”
  • Personally unacceptable religious or sexual thoughts

Feeling like you must do certain behaviors:

  • Seeking reassurance from others about what you are worried about (e.g., “Am I going to be ok?”)
  • Excessive handwashing or washing other body parts
  • Checking/rechecking objects (e.g., doorknobs, light switches, locks, the stove)
  • Ordering/arranging objects
  • Praying, counting, or rereading excessively
  • Performing a behavior an exact number of times
  • Thinking certain thoughts repeatedly in your mind

Youth Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)

The Youth program focuses on meeting the emotional, behavioral and psychiatric health needs of children and adolescents between the ages of 5-17 and their families. Staffed by highly qualified and experienced mental health professionals within the hospital's psychiatry department, the program offers an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) that delivers three-hour group-based treatment sessions for children and adolescents from Monday to Thursday. These are complemented by weekly multi-family group sessions. The active participation of parents/guardians in these multi-family group sessions is not only important but fundamentally crucial for the progress of the young individuals' treatment.

Youth with the following symptoms may benefit from treatment:

  • Depression or social isolation
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Extreme mood swings
  • Aggressive behavior
  • School avoidance
  • Oppositional behavior
  • Thoughts of harming themselves

The REACH Youth Program is a community-based treatment service designed to:

  • Reduce the need for hospitalization
  • Reduce the requirement for residential placement
  • Support family unity

Bridge2Care Medication Management

Bridge2Care medication management is available for youth and adult patients being discharged from our Intensive Outpatient Programs and may need a medication management visit to bridge them to their aftercare provider. These are typically 15–30 minutes with a focus on psychopharmacology. Patients are encouraged to have after-care support in place for therapy, and our staff will provide CBT-specific referrals.


Our treatment team includes a board-certified psychiatrist, advanced practice and registered nurses, licensed social workers, art therapist, recreation therapist and support staff.


Referrals are accepted from psychiatrists, therapists, primary care providers, inpatient and outpatient psychiatric treatment programs, pediatricians, school support staff, DCF or other healthcare providers. Self-referrals and family referrals are also encouraged. Call 203-384-3377 to make a referral.


The REACH Program is covered by Medicare, Medicaid and most commercial insurance plans.


Contact us at 203-384-3377 for eligibility requirements for Medical Transportation.

Yale School of Medicine

Yale New Haven Health is proud to be affiliated with the prestigious Yale University and its highly ranked Yale School of Medicine.