History

Successfully promoting lasting change for those we serve

hope starts here

Established in 1923, 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. Today, the organization continues to respond to the greater Cincinnati community’s needs by providing expert mental health and addiction services.

The Clinic’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, the Clinic 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 and the Clinic continues today, with Dr. Walter S. Smitson holding the position of Professor of Psychiatry in the UC College of Medicine and leading Central Clinic Behavioral Health as President & CEO.

CCBH makes services accessible, individualized, effective, consumer-oriented, and recovery/resiliency based. We continue to develop and expand our 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.

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 twelve 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’s College of Medicine. The resident training program is one of the largest in the region and has been awarded Outstanding Quality designations by the American Psychiatric Association. Central Clinic Behavioral Health is recognized as a community leader in providing behavioral health services.