McLean’s Waverley Place Opens New Doors for Mentally Ill

Waverley Place Ribbon Cutting, November 2, 2001
From left: Marylou Sudders, MSW, Mass. Commissioner, Dept. of Mental Health; For McLean Hospital: Bruce Cohen, MD, PhD, President and Psychiatrist in Chief; Michele Gougeon, Executive Vice President/COO; and Paul Barreira, MD, Director of Community Clinical Services

November 6, 2001 -- Belmont, MA -- McLean Hospital has cut the ribbon to Waverley Place, a new comprehensive community-based rehabilitation treatment program for adults with chronic psychiatric illness.

The program will coordinate an array of mental health and non-mental-health services, customized for each person, ranging from housing to education to employment to wellness programs. Located in Waverley Square, Belmont, the program will also include a resource center, social and employment activities, staff offices and meeting rooms. Program staff will begin seeing clients in December.

"Waverley Place is designed to provide the support necessary in order for individuals with psychiatric illness to live successfully in the community," said Bruce Cohen, MD, PhD, president and psychiatrist in chief of McLean Hospital. "No other private facility in the state offers a comprehensive coordination of services like those being offered through this program. We are creating a new model in which rehabilitation services are designed based on the specific needs and wishes of each individual. Most psychiatric rehabilitation programs are constrained to work on the opposite principle."

The opening of Waverley Place comes at a time of limited psychiatric services across the state, and will help individuals stay out of the hospital or get out of the hospital faster, said Cohen.

The new program will serve 30 people at a time.

The creation and ongoing support of Waverley Place has been made possible by an anonymous $12.5 million donation made to McLean.

"This extraordinary gift allows us to make Waverley Place and its many resources available to individuals in need, regardless of their ability to pay. This is one way to prevent people with psychiatric illness from falling through the cracks," said Paul Barreira, MD, chief of Hospital Community Services and the program director.

Treatment will involve close interaction among family and friends and each individual will be assigned a resource coordinator, rehabilitation counselor, peer counselor and nurse. The length of a person’s participation in the program will vary.

"Some may use the program to transition from a hospital level of care to more independent living in the community," Barreira explained. "Others may need and want long-term, program-supported living."

Program staff will use specially designed tools and methodology to evaluate the program’s effectiveness. Outcome measurements will include rate of employment, job tenure, community residential tenure, hospitalization rates, and measures of function and consumer satisfaction.

"The Massachusetts Department of Mental Health looks forward to working closely with McLean in this wonderful opportunity," said DMH Commissioner Marylou Sudders, one of the speakers at a Nov. 2 ribbon-cutting ceremony.