Behavioral Health


The Middlesex Hospital Center for Behavioral Health is a full service, inpatient and outpatient facility located on the Middlesex Hospital campus in Middletown, Connecticut. Our psychiatrists and mental health care staff provide health services for children, adolescents, and adults on both an inpatient and outpatient basis.

Each behavioral health patient, whether in an inpatient or outpatient program, will get his or her own specialized treatment plan that creates a pathway to recovery. The treatment plan includes the necessary treatments, medications, therapies, and classes that help create positive outcomes in achieving a healthy lifestyle. Each plan will also include a discharge component to help the patient and his or her family continue to maintain a healthy life.

Our attending psychiatrists have comprehensive special training, experience, and interest in such specialized areas as general psychiatry, consultation psychiatry, geriatric psychiatry, additions and substance abuse, psychopharmacology, and psychotherapy.

Our Center Offers:

  • Comprehensive laboratory service including freezers and centrifuge for clinical trials
  • Test article storage is located in the hospital pharmacy in a double-locked, temperature controlled environment
  • Dedicated rooms for physical exams and monitors
  • EDC capability along with a secure T1 internet service
  • A 20-bed Behavioral Health inpatient unit

Family Advocacy Program

Outpatient services are provided for children and adolescents through the Family Advocacy Program, including in-home crisis intervention, case management, parent aides, young parent programs, perinatal support, and teen pregnancy prevention programs. The Outpatient clinic offers treatment in individual, family, and group therapy to meet general adult and senior psychiatric needs.

Outpatient Behavioral Health Services

  • Day Treatment Program — intensive outpatient services for adults, geriatric patients, and dually-diagnosed patients
  • Outpatient Center for Behavioral Health — psychotherapy and medication management for adults
  • Family Advocacy Program — mental health treatment for patients under 18 years old and their families

Crisis Assessment and Triage Service (CATS)

The Crisis Assessment and Triage Service (CATS) provides telephone assessments and referrals, immediate crisis intervention counseling and consultation to the Emergency Department at Middlesex Hospital. CATS provides services 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Behavioral Health Clinical Trials

The Middlesex Hospital Behavioral Health Department has participated in 30 clinical trials with 10 different sponsors and universities since 1999. With four investigators, a full-time certified clinical research coordinator, and a psychologist, we are interested and able to conduct research in all areas of CNS.

Our investigators are certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, with additional certifications in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Addiction Psychiatry, and Geriatric Psychiatry. We have experience working with inpatient and outpatient clinical trials ranging from Phase II to IV. We also have experience working with older adults, and child/adolescent clinical trials.

What is a clinical trial?

A clinical trial (also known as clinical research) is a research study in human volunteers to answer specific health questions. Carefully conducted clinical trials are the fastest and safest way to find treatments that work in people and ways to improve health. Interventional trials determine whether experimental treatments or new ways of using known therapies are safe and effective under controlled environments. Observational trials address health issues in large groups of people or populations in natural settings.

What are the different types of clinical research?

  • Treatment trials: test experimental treatments, new combinations of drugs, or new approaches to surgery or radiation therapy.
  • Prevention trials: look for better ways to prevent disease in people who have never had the disease or to prevent a disease from returning. These approaches may include medicines, vitamins, vaccines, minerals, or lifestyle changes.
  • Diagnostic trials: are conducted to find better tests or procedures for diagnosing a particular disease or condition.
  • Screening trials: test the best way to detect certain diseases or health conditions.
  • Quality of Life trials: explore ways to improve comfort and the quality of life for individuals with a chronic illness.

What are the phases of clinical trials?

Clinical trials are conducted in phases. The trials at each phase have a different purpose and help scientists answer different questions:

  • In Phase I trials: researchers test an experimental drug or treatment in a small group of people (20-80) for the first time to evaluate its safety, determine a safe dosage range, and identify side effects.
  • In Phase II trials: the experimental study drug or treatment is given to a larger group of people (100-300) to see whether it is effective and to further evaluate its safety.
  • In Phase III trials: the experimental study drug or treatment is given to large groups of people (1,000-3,000) to confirm its effectiveness, monitor side effects, compare it to commonly used treatments, and collect information that will allow the experimental drug or treatment to be used safely.
  • In Phase IV trials: post-marketing studies describe additional information including the drug’s risks, benefits, and optimal use.

Why participate in a clinical trial?

Participants in clinical trials can play a more active role in their own health care, gain access to new research treatments before they are widely available, and help others by contributing to medical science.

Who can participate in a clinical trial?

All clinical trials have guidelines about who can participate. The factors that allow someone to take part in a clinical trial are called "inclusion criteria" and those that disallow someone from taking part in a trial are called "exclusion criteria." These criteria are based on such factors as age, gender, and type and stage of a disease, previous treatment history, and other medical conditions. Before joining a clinical trial, a participant must qualify for the study. It is important to note that inclusion and exclusion criteria are not used to reject people personally. Instead, the criteria are used to identify appropriate participants and keep them safe.

What happens during a clinical trial?

The clinical trial process depends on the kind of trial being conducted. The clinical trial team includes doctors, nurses, study coordinators, and other health care professionals. They check the health of the participant at the beginning of the trial, give specific instructions for participating in the trial, monitor the participant carefully during the trial, and stay in touch after the trial is completed.

Some clinical trials involve more tests and doctors visits than the participant would normally have for an illness or condition. Clinical trial participation is most successful when the study directions are carefully followed and there is frequent contact with the research staff.

How is the safety of the participant protected?

The ethical and legal codes that govern medical practice also apply to clinical trials. In addition, most clinical research is federally regulated with built-in safeguards to protect the participants. The trial follows a study plan which details what research will be conducted during the study.

Every clinical trial in the U.S. must be approved and monitored by an Institutional Review Board (IRB) to make sure the risks are as low as possible and are worth the potential benefits. An IRB is an independent committee of physicians, statisticians, community advocates, and others that ensures that a clinical trial is ethical and the rights and welfare of study participants are protected. All institutions that conduct or support biomedical research involving people must, by federal regulation, have an IRB that initially approves and periodically reviews the research.

What are the benefits and risks of participating in a clinical trial?

Clinical trials that are well-designed and well-executed enable eligible participants to:

  • Play an active role in his or her own health care.
  • Gain access to new research treatments before they are widely available.
  • Obtain expert medical care at leading health care facilities during the trial.
  • Help others by contributing to medical science

 But, there are risks to clinical trials:

  • There may be unpleasant, serious or even life-threatening side effects to experimental treatment.
  • The experimental treatment may not be effective for the participant.
  • The study may require more of their time and attention than a non-protocol treatment would, including visits to the study site, more treatments, hospital stays or complex dosage requirements.

Can a participant leave a clinical trial after it has begun?

A participant can leave a clinical trial, at any time for any reason. When withdrawing from the trial, the participant should let the research team know about it, and the reasons for leaving.

Behavioral Health Programs/Groups/Classes (from Community Medicine)

  • Anxiety Disorder Group
  • Managed Service System (MSS)
  • Bereavement Support Group
  • Medication Management Group
  • Bipolar Disorder Group
  • Older Adults with Depression and Anxiety Group
  • Care Coordination (Local Systems of Care)
  • Prevention and Education
  • Caregiver Support Group
  • Psychiatric Day Treatment Program
  • Dual Diagnosis Group
  • Service Review Team and Case Management Services
  • Focus on Survivorship and Prevention
  • Short Term Case Management for Young Parents and Pregnant Women
  • Free Smoking Intervention Service
  • Stress and Coping
  • IMPACT - Immediate Mobile Psychiatric Adolescent and Child Team
  • Substance Abuse Programs
  • Life Skills Group
  • Women in Transition

Your Middlesex Hospital Behavioral Health Team

The psychiatrists and mental health care specialists and staff of the Middlesex Hospital Center for Behavioral Health provide health services for children, adolescents and adults on both an inpatient and outpatient basis.

Our attending psychiatrists have comprehensive specialized training, experience and interest in such specialized areas as general psychiatry, consultation psychiatry, geriatric psychiatry, additions and substance abuse, psychopharmacology, and psychotherapy.



Faye J. Heisler, M.D.
Dr. Heisler is a member of the department of Psychiatry at Middlesex Hospital. She is board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry & Neurology/Psychiatry. Dr. Heisler graduated from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and completed her residency at University of Connecticut Health Center.

J. Carl Jarda, M.D.

J. Carl Jarda, M.D.
Dr. Jarda earned his medical degree at Faculte de Medicine et de Pharmacie de Port-au-Prince, Haiti. He completed his residency at Cook County Hospital, Illinois State Psychiatric Institute, and Connecticut Valley Hospital. He is Board Certified in Psychiatry, Neurology, and Addiction Medicine by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, and the American Board of Addiction Medicine.

Tariq Latif, M.D.

Tariq Latif, M.D.
Dr. Latif is a member of the Department of Psychiatry at Middlesex Hospital. He is board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry & Neurology/Psychiatry. Dr. Latif is a graduate of Nishtar Medical College.

Sergio Mejia, M.D.

Sergio Mejia, M.D.
Dr. Mejia earned his medical degree at the Universidad del Valle Cali, School of Medicine in Colombia. He completed his residency in Psychiatry at the Baylor College of Medicine and Yale University School of Medicine. He is Board Certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.

Jeffrey T. Shelton, M.D.

Jeffrey T. Shelton, M.D.
Dr. Jeffrey Shelton received his medical degree from Oregon Health Sciences University. He completed his psychiatric residency training at Yale University School of Medicine, and was appointed Chief Resident in his last year of training. Dr. Shelton is board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in the specialty of Psychiatry. He is a member of the American Psychiatric Association and the Connecticut Psychiatric Society.

Joyce A. Tinsley, M.D.
Dr. Tinsley trained in psychiatry at the Mayo Clinic where she remained on the faculty for fifteen years. She is a board certified psychiatrist and a specialist in Addiction Psychiatry. She is an elected member of The American College of Psychiatrists and a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association.

Quality Measures

Middlesex Hospital is proud to be one of the first hospitals in Connecticut to voluntarily participate in major quality programs conducted by several government and healthcare industry organizations.

The foremost quality program in which we participate is called "Core Measures." These quality measures were developed by The Joint Commission — the nation’s foremost accrediting body in health care — and based on quality indicators from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Adherence to Core Measures has been shown to improve patient outcomes dramatically.

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Middletown, CT 06457

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