Greenwoods was founded in 1992 by the Rev. W. David Dobbins Jr., a Litchfield County Episcopal minister. Trained as a counselor, the Rev. Dobbins saw how difficult it was for people in crisis to find their way to the right help. In response, he built a carefully screened network of doctors, therapists, psychiatrists, psychologists and other healthcare professionals willing to see clients regardless of their ability to pay.
About fifty percent of those seeking professional referrals from Greenwoods ask for, and receive, financial help. About fifty percent do not need financial help, but seek us out for professional referrals only.
Over the years the Greenwoods network has expanded to include a wide variety of clinicians, clinics, and social service providers. We still have our program offices where Dr. Dobbins began in St. Michael’s Church at 25 South Street in Litchfield, CT (although we are nonsectarian) but have recently expanded and moved our administrative offices next door to 21 South Street.
Why it Matters
Greenwoods began as a small grass-roots agency, and we will always retain our personal, intimate approach to our services and programs. Providing access to excellent care is central to our mission, a service that is badly needed. Lack of access to quality behavioral health and social services is a well-established and appalling fact.
People face a variety of obstacles that reduce their access to quality behavioral healthcare. Only half of those who need help actually get it. A January 2013 study by the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration concluded that many people (50%) don’t get help because they can’t afford it or their insurance won’t cover it; or don’t think they need it (39%); or are afraid that friends, family members, neighbors and employers will have a negative attitude about them if they seek treatment (35%).
About two-thirds of the estimated 7.6 million Americans who are indigent, uninsured and in need of mental health services were unable to receive care, according to a 2009 report by the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare. The rest obtained services primarily through publicly funded community clinics.
Poor access also may stem from the helplessness family members and friends feel because they simply don’t know how or where to get help for a troubled loved one. It can take people six to eight years before they get into the system. They don’t know how to find the system in the first place, and once they get in, they don’t know how to pay for it or where to find a good practitioner.