100 Year Anniversary

2023 Marks the 100th Anniversary of Central Clinic Behavioral Health.

What began in 1923 has evolved over the past 100 years into an award-winning mental health services organization serving nearly 18,000 people per year – Central Clinic Behavioral Health.

Established in 1923 due to a five-year, $30,000 investment from Community Chest (now United Way), Central Clinic Behavioral Health (CCBH) was the first mental health nonprofit organization in the State of Ohio and one of the only community clinics serving both children and adults. Central Psychiatric Clinic, its original name, received national attention because it provided community-based mental health services for children — a unique approach for treating patients at that time.

CCBH’s first director, Dr. Emerson A. North, led the agency through the initial stages of growth while holding a position as professor of psychiatry at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. In 1932, CCBH moved from its downtown location to the UC College of Medicine campus based on a decision by Dr. Raymond Walters, UC’s president at the time. The collaborative relationship between the University of Cincinnati and CCBH continues today, with Dr. Walter S. Smitson holding the position of professor of psychiatry in the UC College of Medicine and leading CCBH as its president and chief executive officer.

The uniqueness of CCBH is evident in every service delivered – every patient/client experiences hope. Services are accessible, individualized, effective, consumer-oriented, and recovery/resiliency-based.

Over the past 100 years, five divisions were developed to meet the needs of the diverse patients/clients who are lifted up every day. Healthy adults, children and their families keep our community vibrant. Staff are adept at helping people become stronger, healthier and full participants in their respective communities. CCBH has led the effort for court services in Hamilton County, designing award-winning programs that support men and women in the court system. This support allowed them to receive intervention and treatment services through Court Clinic and other community partners.

Over the past ten years, staff continue to develop and expand programming to meet the behavioral health (mental health and substance use) needs of the community, most recently for the increasing number of Latino families in our community and schools. In addition, CCBH was the first behavioral health organization to provide collaborative services in support of LGBTQ+ adults.

When the pandemic of 2020 impacted the country, CCBH quickly made the transition to provide services through telehealth. Personnel stayed laser-focused on meeting the needs of the patients/clients during this time and were able to help even more people.

Today, there are eleven locations serving a very diverse population. Mental illness and substance use/abuse knows no boundaries — we serve all ethnicities, individuals, children, and families. We pride ourselves on our inclusionary ethos and accept each person for who they are. We have a unique business model, serving as a training center for social work, counseling, and psychology students from local universities, as well as psychiatric residents from the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. Central Clinic Behavioral Health is recognized as a community leader in providing behavioral health services.

Download our 100 Year Anniversary Fact Sheet “100 Years of Impact” to Learn More!

View our 100th Anniversary Appeal

View Local 12’s News Segment

View our 100th Anniversary Video