CEO’s Message # 1
The reasons the Board decided to change the name
There is an exciting change taking place in Rhode Island. The Kent County Mental Health Center, an agency which has received recognition locally, state-wide and nationally for its excellent programs and services, is changing its name. Effective in June of 2003 the Kent County Mental Health Center (KCMHC) will become The Kent Center for Human and Organizational Development, or The Kent Center (TKC) for short. The Board of Directors of The Kent County Mental Health Center decided to make this change because the old name no longer reflects the scope of what the Center does.
Back in 1976 when the Kent County Mental Health Center was founded, its mission was to provide mental health services to the residents of Warwick, West Warwick, Coventry, East Greenwich and West Greenwich. KCMHC helped Rhode Island to reduce the number of its adult citizens living in institutions by providing a range of therapeutic and supportive community based services so that people could move out of the institutions and live more rewarding and productive lives in the community. The Kent County Mental Health Center was recognized as one of the top community mental health centers in the country for its efforts.
Over time KCMHC began to expand the array of mental health services it provided. The Center developed services for children and families. A special education school, The Eleanor Briggs School, was established to help children with special needs learn and grow and return to regular school as successful students. We received referrals from all over Rhode Island for our school. We expanded our outpatient-counseling program so that people who were experiencing less severe emotional challenges could receive therapy from our compassionate and well trained clinicians. As our reputation for excellence grew, we began to get requests for services from people who lived outside the five cities and town we traditionally served. These people were willing to drive the extra miles to seek us out. So now we did not just serve Kent County and we provided educational as well as mental health services.
KCMHC then received its license to provide substance abuse services and developed an array of substance abuse or chemical dependency programs which integrated with our mental health programs. As time went on, we became a licensed Batterers Intervention Program. As our reputation for organizational excellence grew, we began to get requests from other businesses and organizations to provide consultation to them on how to grow and develop their organizations and their organizational workforce.
So clearly, the Kent County Mental Health Center has grown to do much more than just provide mental health services and we clearly serve people who live beyond the boundaries of Kent County. Our name no longer fits. The Board of Directors went through a long process of choosing a new name that links us to our proud past by keeping “Kent” and “Center” in our name, while reflecting our true scope of services by adding “human and organizational development”. Look for ional messages from me, telling you more about The Kent Center for Human and Organizational Development, an old friend with a new name and expanded services.