Mental Heath & Substance Use

Mental Heath & Substance Use

Three women standing next to white horse.

We Are Here For You

UCS offers outpatient individual and group psychotherapy, case management, information and referrals for children, adults and families. If you or someone you know needs help for a mental health or substance use disorder, UCS is here to help.


The emergency substance use program was developed to meet the growing substance use needs within Bennington County. It was developed to provide immediate services to those in need. Other services provided include crisis planning, consultation and referral to MAT (Medication Assisted Treatment), recovery supports, housing supports, harm reduction serves, and other indicated prevention intervention or treatment resources. 

Harm Reduction Kits are available at no cost. The purpose of these kits is to reduce the risk of overdose from opioids, generate greater awareness about treatment and recovery options and increase treatment engagement.

UCS offers confidential, professional assessments and counseling support for local businesses. An EAP for your business can help to identify troubled employees, motivate them to get and accept help, assess their situation and develop an action plan, and assist them in getting services they need.

Employer Brochure

Employee Brochure

EAP Video

UCS partners with Kanthaka of North Bennington to offer Equilateral (EQL), Equine Assisted Therapy (EAP) and Equine Assisted Learning (EAL).  

EQL is an equine-assisted therapy program that combines two well-regarded treatment protocols: Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Psychotherapy (EMDR) and EAP. EMDR is an eight-phase program that helps children and adults address mental health challenges such as anxiety, depression, bipolar disorders, post-traumatic stress (PTSD), substance abuse and addiction, and more.

EAP is based on the precept that experiencing, building, and maintaining healthy relationships is the foundation of mental illness and trauma healing and recovery.  Horses are highly sensitive to the energy and actions of their herd mates and in their immediate environment.  Their non-verbal responses provide a visible canvas upon which human clients can witness their own internal energy, mood, and behavioral characteristics.  This equine-human relationship  brings verbal and non-verbal communication into alignment for the individual.

EAL is appropriate for groups or teams of workers.  Various activities are built with available props for the participants to work collaboratively in their interactions with the horses, from observing the horses interact with the created scene, to guiding horses through or around obstacles.  The team benefits from seeing their dynamics in action outside of the work place.

Watch: About Equine Assisted Therapy

This program is designed to address multiple factors concurrently, to help participants maintain and achieve sobriety and improved everyday functioning.  IOP is a mix of modalities—group, individual therapy, family therapy, case management and includes Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP), Collaborative Network Approach (CNA), and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), and several other healing modalities. Intensive Outpatient Programming is offered a minimum of 3 hours per day/9 hours per week. 

Download IOP Brochure

PIP provides a calm place to recover from the individual inebriation and return to the community. After placement, the individual is educated on services available and encouraged to continue with services at the level appropriate to their needs.

Treatment services include family and group therapy along with education, individual and relationship counseling. UCS provides education and prevention information specific to the dangers of IV drug use and about relationship between drug abuse and communicable diseases such as HIV. We work closely with Community partners and self -help group such as Alcoholics Anonymous, the Turning Point Recovery Center, Narcotics Anonymous and Al-Anon.

Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) at UCS is a Vermont Blueprint for Health Spoke program designed to meet the need for individuals with Opioid Use Disorder. The program involves the administration of medication such as buprenorphine to help individuals with substance use disorder detoxify from illicit opiates, reduce overdose risk, and maintain long-term recovery. MAT is used alongside other therapeutic tools to help people with opioid use disorder (OUD) reduce or stop opioid misuse. Individuals seeking MAT can call 802-442-5491 or visit UCS in person at 100 Ledge Hill Drive in Bennington, VT, during regular business hours. Universal Access Coordinators complete the initial intake process, followed by a meeting between a clinician and the individual seeking treatment. Follow-up appointments are scheduled after the first appointment.

Self-help and contact information for local peer recovery support services are available through Vermont Recovery Addiction Network Recovery Peer Support Services at or call (802) 738-8998.

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We offer

  • Alcohol and drug abuse counseling and education
  • Child, adult, family and couples counseling
  • Employee Assistance Programs
  • Psychotherapy groups
  • Evaluation and psychological testing
  • Community education and consultation services

“At this point there isn’t anything else I need. The group I attend is the perfect fit for me.”


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