The Connecticut Mental Health Center (CMHC), a New Haven-based community mental health center co-administered by the State of Connecticut Department of Mental Health & Addiction services and the medical school’s Department of Psychiatry, has opened a new Wellness Center in partnership with the Cornell Scott-Hill Health Center.

The Wellness Center, which serves mainly low-income residents of New Haven who face challenges associated with serious mental illness or substance abuse disorders, opened in February and will serve as a medical home to 600 patients annually.

“Our patients deal with extraordinary challenges daily,” said Michael J. Sernyak Jr., M.D., professor of psychiatry and CEO of CMHC.

Benefits for patients include annual check-ups, prevention plans, sick visits, referrals to specialists, and consultations with medical professionals about health concerns. The availability of basic medical care will be one in a growing list of services CMHC offers some 5,000 patients per year in the greater New Haven area.

Patients being treated for chronic mental illness and substance abuse problems also have access to a network of community programs that include housing and residential services, employment services, and social rehabilitation.

Community-based medical partner Cornell Scott-Hill Health Center will provide primary care services at the Center together with CMHC staff.

The Wellness Center is supported in part by a $1.6 million grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Center for Integrated Health Solutions.