The Recreation Program at BHN Valley Human Services provides services to children and youth who have a serious mental health diagnosis or emotional disturbance that significantly impairs their functioning in school, the community and/or within their family. Opportunities with special support are provided to participants so they can experience the benefits of exciting, challenging and meaningful social engagement and activity in ways that address both their mental health needs and their overall developmental needs.

The program is community-based – programs take place in natural settings throughout the community and region – with a wide range of recreation, leisure, social, sports, cultural and prevocational activities offered, including arts & crafts, an equestrian program, swimming, area theater, dance and music events, swimming, boating, fishing, soccer, street hockey, bicycling, public service projects, teen club nights, latency-age adventure groups and movie-going, roller-skating, bowling and ‘Be-My-Guest’ nights in members’ homes and neighborhoods.

There are also monthly overnight adventure and travel experiences, many of which include family participation. These trips have included bicycling to Montreal, rowing to Hartford and the islands in Boston Harbor, family beach camping trips, backpacking, winter camping and family overnights to Boston, NYC and the Cape.

The Recreation Program is a Child and Adolescent Therapeutic Day Services program funded by the state Department of Mental Health (DMH). The program provides services six days per week, and frequency and participation can range from twice per month to 4-5 days per week depending on need, interest and availability. DMH authorization for services is required and applications are available from the area office of the DMH, at our main offices at 96 South Street or by calling (413) 967-6241 and requesting an application for DMH services for children and adolescents.

Eligibility and Locations

  • Youth ages 8-19
  • Residents of Ware, Palmer, Ludlow, Monson or Belchertown
  • There is no cost to families for participation and, in most cases, all transportation is provided

(413) 967-6241

BHN Valley Human Services
96 South Street, Ware, MA