FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What are Howard Center locations and hours of operation?
  2. What services does Howard Center offer?
  3. What types of insurance does Howard Center accept?
  4. What is considered a “crisis”?
  5. If I call the crisis hotline, what will happen?
  6. How do I know if I am eligible to receive services?
  7. How do I cancel an appointment with my provider?
  8. Where can I get a copy of my records?
  9. How do I access services at the Impaired Driver Rehabilitation Program, formerly CRASH?
  10. Where can I get a drug or alcohol assessment?
  11. How do I make an initial appointment?
  12. What do I need for my first appointment?
  13. Are your psychiatrists available for a second opinion?
  14. Do you offer medication management?
  15. We have a patient visiting your area for a week. Can they see a psychiatrist while they are visiting?
  16. Who do I contact to set up an internship placement?

1. What are Howard Center locations and hours of operation?

Find all the locations and hours of operations at our Directions & Locations page.

2. What services does Howard Center offer?

Howard Center offers a wide array of mental health, substance use, and developmental disability services for individuals and families.

  • 24/7/365 mobile crisis response
  • Access and intake services
  • Child and adult outpatient services
  • Substance use treatment for adolescents and adults
  • Services for individuals with severe and persistent mental illness
  • Services for individuals with developmental disabilities
  • Education and school-based services
  • Employment services
  • Case management services
  • Community support services
  • Criminal justice services
  • Medical care and consultation
  • Consultation for community partners
  • Community education and training

For a full list of our programs, visit our full program listing.

To learn more about eligibility and to make an appointment, we encourage you to call our main number at 802.488.6000.

If you have a medical emergency, please call 9-1-1.

If you or someone you know are in crisis and need help, call First Call for Chittenden County at 802.488.7777.

3. What types of insurance does Howard Center accept?

Many kinds of insurance, including Medicaid are accepted. If you have insurance, please bring your card to your first visit. Be aware that some insurance companies require a co-pay. If you are uninsured, we will use a sliding scale to set individual fees, based on your financial situation. Please note that if you choose not to use your insurance, the sliding fee scale cannot be used. Your fee will be explained to you before you begin to receive services. Howard Center will bill any insurance company. However, we do not have contracts with all companies. This means that we cannot guarantee your insurance will pay for the services we provide. Each plan is different so you should contact your insurance company to determine your benefit coverage and copayments.

Below is a list of the insurance companies Howard Center is in-network with.

  • BlueCross BlueShield of Vermont
  • CBA
  • Cigna
  • Medicare
  • MVP
  • Tricare
  • Vermont Medicaid

Howard Center is committed to working with clients, families, health insurers, local and state agencies, private entities, and other sources to secure funding to help you access the services you need.

If you have questions about billing, please call 802-488-6920.

4. What is considered a “crisis”?

If you are experiencing a crisis, call 802-488-7777.

At First Call for Chittenden County, the caller defines the crisis. There is no “wrong” reason to call. It can be for something as simple as getting a referral to see a mental health specialist or because you or a loved one is in serious emotional distress.

First Call provides phone and in-person support, individual crisis assessment, short-term crisis management, referrals to appropriate services, information about community resources, suicide prevention trainings for providers, schools, and community groups, and post-tragedy and disaster response. If you or a loved one need support and you are not sure what to do or where to get it, First Call for Chittenden County can help.

5. If I call the crisis hotline, what will happen?

After calling First Call for Chittenden County, you will be connected to a member of the team trained in assessing and handling distress and crisis. The team member will speak with you about the reason you called and help you assess what the best next steps are going forward. This could be further phone support, a referral to a specialist, intervention, or an in-person assessment. However, this is a collaborative decision that will be made and agreed upon by both the caller and the team member.

First Call is a confidential crisis hotline, and a First Call team member will not show up at your home or call the police without your permission. However, there are three instances in which a First Call team member is mandated to take action without your permission: if the caller expresses that they are about to cause harm to themselves, if the caller expresses that they are about to cause harm to others, or if the caller discloses child abuse is going on in their home. Disclosing previous self-harm or an urge to self-harm will not warrant a First Call team member to take action.

First Call for Chittenden County is a 24/7/365 resource where the caller defines the crisis. There is no “wrong” or “bad” reason to call. If you or a loved one need support and you are not sure what to do or where to get support, First Call for Chittenden County can help. 802.488.7777

6. How do I know if I am eligible to receive services?

Eligibility varies from program to program depending on the particular program criteria. If you think that you and/or a family member would benefit from receiving services from one of our programs, do not hesitate to call. Our staff will work with you to determine eligibility and ensure you receive the support you need.

7. How do I cancel an appointment with my provider?

You should call the number on your appointment card to cancel your appointment 24 hours in advance, whenever possible. If you don’t have the number

8. Where can I get a copy of my records?

Client health records can be requested by the client, their parent or guardian, or an authorized representative through Howard Center’s Health Information department using an Request for Access form. If you make a request to have health records sent to a third party, such as another healthcare provider or substance use treatment center, you or the client may need to sign additional authorization forms.

For requests for school or education records, the student or parent/guardian will need to file a Request for Educational Records.  If you would like education records sent to a third party, such as another treatment center, you may need to sign an additional form.

Once completed, these forms can be printed and sent to: Health Information, Howard Center, 300 Flynn Ave, Burlington, VT 05401, or Fax: 802-488-6131.

Any questions regarding requests for records, please call Health Information at 802-488-6130, and a staff member will help you determine which forms are needed to obtain the records.

9. How do I access services at the Impaired Driver Rehabilitation Program?

To access the Impaired Driver Rehabilitation Program (IDRP; formerly known as Project CRASH) to reinstate driving privileges after an impaired driving offense please call (802) 488-6151or email IDRP@howardcenter.org.

For more information, including program description, costs, course schedules and enrollment information, visit the Impaired Driver Rehabilitation Program pages on our website.

10. Where can I get a drug or alcohol assessment?

Howard Center has several programs available that offer drug and alcohol assessments.
If you are looking to enroll in our Impaired Driver Rehabilitation Program, please read the program description and information on our website.

ACT 1 is a 24/7/365 program that provides information, referral, screening, and assessment services for individuals to determine their level of incapacitation and determine next steps due to alcohol and other substances. They provide a clean, safe, and supervised setting in which to regain sobriety, availability of one-to-one substance information and assessment, access to further detox stabilization available on-site, de-escalation of crisis and promotion of stability. All are served regardless of age, background, or ability to pay. Contact ACT 1 at 802.488.6425.

The Chittenden Clinic is a medication assistant treatment program that provides outpatient treatment and pharmacotherapy (methadone and buprenorphine) to individuals who have Opioid Use Disorder. They also provide counseling for other substance misuse and mental health disorders, case management and care coordination, psychiatric consultation, and medical care. For more information, call the Chittenden Clinic at 802-488-6450.

Please download and fill out this form and send it to one of the mentioned agencies on the form in order to be listed on our community waitlist. This will allow us to discuss your potential treatment and find the best option for you.

The completed form can be emailed back to MATTreatment@howardcenter.org, or dropped off in person to one of the agencies. You can also mail this back to our office at One South Prospect Street, Burlington, VT 05401.

Safe Recovery serves people who are currently using cocaine, heroin, other opioids, or other drugs, or who are in early recovery from opioid dependence. Safe Recovery provides free support throughout the recovery process, from active use to sustained recovery, including during any periods of relapse. The specific services include syringe exchange, drug treatment options counseling, case management, HIV and Hepatitis C testing and linkage to treatment, and Hepatitis A/Hepatitis B vaccination. Walk-ins are welcome or call 802-488-6067 to make an appointment.

Pine Street Counseling Services provides outpatient services for adults with mental health and/or substance use issues. PSCS provides clinical mental health and substance use assessments, diagnosis, and recommendations; wellness promotion; evidence-based individual and group therapies; case management; psychiatric consultation; connection and referral to self-help opportunities; and counseling for license reinstatement. Contact Pine Street Counseling Services: 802-488-6100.

St. Albans Outpatient Services provides quality outpatient substance use counseling to Grand Isle and Franklin County residents. They provide substance use treatment in an outpatient environment including intensive outpatient, individual, and group therapy, coordination with medical providers, and case management. Contact St. Albans Outpatient Substance Use Services: 802-488-6265.

11. How do I make an initial appointment?

To schedule an initial appointment, call our Access and Intake team at 802-488-6000. Access Specialists will provide support, conduct a brief screening, schedule an intake assessment, and offer information about other community resources. In addition, they can arrange for interpreter services at no cost. If you need to wait to receive services, Intake Navigators can provide interim support.

If you are experiencing a crisis, call our 24/7 crisis program First Call for Chittenden County at 802-488-7777.

12. What do I need for my first appointment?

When you arrive for your appointment, you should bring identification and your insurance information. If the appointment is for your child, you may need to bring a birth certificate. If you do not have insurance, we will work with you to help you access the services you need.

You may be asked information such as your social security number and medical history. Knowing which medications and what doses you are taking, as well as providing any other supporting information for the condition being treated, will help with the assessment. The first appointment will be a full intake and evaluation, which could take several hours, so please schedule accordingly.

13. Are your psychiatrists available for a second opinion?

Unfortunately, our psychiatrists are not available to provide second opinions.

14. Do you offer medication management?

Our psychiatrists are only able to see clients who are enrolled in other Howard Center programs as the availability of psychiatry is program specific.

15. We have a patient visiting your area for a week. Can they see a psychiatrist while they are visiting?

Unfortunately, we are unable to provide this type of service but our mobile crisis service, First Call for Chittenden County is available if needed at 802-488-7777.

16. Who do I contact to set up an internship placement?

Please visit Howard Center’s Careers Page to find our Internship post. The posting will provide information and access to an application for placement.