[Skip to Content]

About Us

About Us

About Stonington Institute

Our Mission

To provide superior behavioral healthcare services that: clients recommend to families and friends, physicians prefer for their clients, purchasers select for their clients, and employees are proud of.

Our History

The story of Stonington Institute begins during the Second World War. Nicholas P. Schultz, himself the son of a WWI veteran, entered the US Army Air Corps on October 13, 1943 and trained in a Stearman bi-plane (PT-17), a Vultee Vibrator (BT-13), an AT-6 Texan, a P-47 Thunderbolt, and a B-25 Mitchell bomber.

Schultz was honorably discharged on November 6, 1945 and returned home to North Stonington. Nicholas and his wife Edna purchased Starlite Farm from Lafayette Main, who had named the property “Starlite Farm” after neighbors commented on the lights hung in the apple orchard to keep the deer away. The Schultz family re-built a prosperous farm, selling fruits and vegetables out of their carriage barn (now the Stonington Cafeteria) and at local markets. The running horse windvane on the top of the Lodge House was the original windvane installed by the family in 1952.

In 1957, the last Schultz sibling sold the farm to two neighbors who opened a working farm where people in recovery were introduced to the principles of Alcoholics Anonymous. They called their program “Starlite Farm.” Subsequently sold to two hospital administrators, Starlite grew its programs to reach across the continuum of behavioral health services.

Over the years, Stonington established itself as an innovative leader in the field of behavioral health treatment. Today, our management team, medical professionals, clinicians, counselors, and support staff offer a comprehensive range of treatment programs and support services that span the continuum of behavioral health care needs from detoxification and residential care to partial hospitalization and outpatient therapies, making us one of the largest providers of behavioral healthcare services in Connecticut.

Stonington’s experienced and knowledgeable clinical teams help people identify the feelings that trigger chemical dependence, as well as the environmental and interpersonal circumstances that exacerbate these feelings. Besides being expert in specific treatment modalities, our clinical teams focus on maintaining a secure, accepting, and supportive clinical environment. We view this as essential for openly examining, understanding, and eventually helping people to change the values, attitudes, and behaviors that contribute to and reinforce their pre-treatment lifestyle.

The programs developed over the past decades reflect the changing needs of our clients, evidence-based knowledge about treatment, and the changing treatment environment. Stonington’s clinical and medical staff are trained experts in treating not only chemical dependence, but also co-occurring mental health disorders. Our clinical expertise allows us to provide comprehensive, evidence-based care to the dually-diagnosed within a 12-step tradition. Our staff includes a variety of theoretical perspectives to meet the treatment needs of every client.

We work in close partnership with insurance companies, managed care organizations and government agencies to make sure the care we provide meets our clients’ needs, as well as the requirements of their health plans. We are proud to be the longest continuously operating substance abuse treatment facility in Connecticut.

Our Treatment Philosophy

Stonington Institute’s treatment program draws from medical, psychological and traditional self-help approaches in addiction treatment. The Institute also recognizes the overwhelming importance of the client’s motivation to achieve and maintain sobriety. Through education, professional intervention and effective social rehabilitation, it is our belief that everyone can achieve recovery.

Stonington Institute provides a multi-disciplinary intervention involving individualized treatment plans. However, individualization is anchored in some strongly held basic tenets:

  1. Recovery lies in the abstinence, not in controlled used.
  2. The treatment process is a collaborative, rather than a dependent relationship, which is directed by the professional toward increasing the client’s independence, responsibility and self-control.
  3. Self-help groups are of enormous importance in establishing and maintaining social supports to sobriety.
  4. It is important to integrate the client’s family and other social supports in the treatment process.
  5. Collaboration with managed care professionals and community resources in the client’s home area facilities a smooth transition to step down care and increased likelihood of sustained recovery.
  6. Quality and integrity are critical aspects of an effective treatment program.

Our Goals for Treatment

The Institute endorses the following treatment goals:

  • To restore the client to a healthier stage of functioning
  • To diminish symptoms
  • To educate the client and family regarding their illness and treatment resources
  • To help the client become a productive citizen of the community

Clinicians use the most appropriate treatment for a given client in the most effective and individualized manner while addressing the client’s bio-psychosocial and educational needs to obtain optimal results. A variety of treatment modalities are utilized. Modalities emphasized are milieu treatment, individual therapy, group therapy, and cognitive-behavioral therapy. Participation of the family is strongly encouraged when not contraindicated. Pharmacotherapy is employed when clinically indicated.

The interdisciplinary team of professionals works together to coordinate structured treatment programs that are designed to address the specific needs of each client. Team members work directly with family members, courts, social service agencies, schools, employers, clergy, recovery groups, outpatient therapists, primary care physicians, health maintenance organizations and insurance companies to assist each client’s re-entry into the most positive and supportive environment possible at the time of discharge.

Policies and treatment programs are developed to serve the needs of the client and to assist the professional staff in fulfilling their obligation toward the provision of client care in the most competent and responsible manner.

Nondiscrimination Policy

As a recipient of Federal financial assistance, Stonington Institute does not exclude, deny benefits to, or otherwise discriminate against any person on the basis of race, color, national origin, disability, or age in admission to, participation in, or receipt of the services and benefits under any of its programs and activities, whether carried out by Stonington Institute directly or through a contractor or any other entity with which Stonington Institute arranges to carry out its programs and activities.

This statement is in accordance with the provisions of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, and Regulations of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued pursuant to these statutes at Title 45 Code of Federal Regulations Parts 80, 84, and 91.

In case of questions, please contact:

Contact Person/Section 504 Coordinator
Donna Mcleod, Director of Risk Management
Telephone number: 860-445-3695
TDD or State Relay number: 71

Section 504 Notice of Program Accessibility

Stonington Institute and all of its programs and activities are accessible to and useable by disabled persons, including persons who are deaf, hard of hearing, or blind, or who have other sensory impairments. Access features include:

  • Off-street parking reserved for patients and visitors
  • Curb cuts and ramps between parking areas and buildings.
  • Level access into first floor level with elevator access to all other floors.
  • Fully accessible offices, meeting rooms, bathrooms, public waiting areas, cafeteria, patient treatment areas, including examining rooms and patient rooms.
  • Assistive and communication aids provided to persons who are deaf, hard of hearing, or blind, or with other sensory impairments. There is no additional charge for such aids. Some of these aids include:
    • Qualified sign language interpreters for persons who are deaf or hard of hearing.
    • A twenty-four hour (24) telecommunication device (TTY/TDD) which can connect the caller to all extensions within the facility and/or portable (TTY/TDD) units, for use by persons who are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired.
    • Readers and taped material for the blind and large print materials for the visually impaired.
    • Flash cards, alphabet boards and other communication boards.
    • Assistive devices for persons with impaired manual skills.

If you require any of the aids listed above, please let a nurse or clinician know.

Start Your Journey to Recovery

Stonington Institute’s professional staff are here to help. Call 800-832-1022 or 860-535-1010 and select option 1 for a no-cost screening that gathers demographic, insurance and clinical information needed by the assessment team. If you need immediate medical assistance, contact 911 or seek the nearest emergency room.