Alice Forrester is the Chief Executive Officer of Clifford Beers Clinic in New Haven, CT. She graduated with a BA in Art History and was a performance artist in the East Village of New York City before her interest in drama and group work led her to get a Masters Degree in Drama Therapy. After working as a drama therapist, Forrester went on to obtain her doctorate in clinical psychology and then joined Clifford Beers, where she has been working for over 21 years. Clifford Beers is a mental health organization that delivers services related to social determinants in health, integrated healthcare, and work in early intervention and prevention. “My specialty and dissertation work is the interpersonal nature of violence and trauma. I have been able to explore the topic in various ways as the CEO of the agency, basically trying to break the taboo of people talking about trauma and violence in order to get the help that they need,” says Forrester.
One of Forrester’s current projects is the New Haven Trauma Coalition. The Coalition’s work with students, parents, teachers, and the community uses a tiered approach that includes in-classroom work and after-school activities for all children; specific coaching and intervention for children evidencing problematic behavior; and clinical assessment to identify kids and/or families that might be in need of mental health services and care coordination services.
Involvement with CSCH
Forrester brings invaluable outside connections to the Collaboratory and contributes to events hosted at the University. Clifford Beers Clinic was a partner with CSCH and others in hosting a symposium on trauma and mental health in schools that included school, mental health, and community leaders from across the state. “That was a terrific opportunity,” says Forrester. “It was exciting to work with the doctoral students and faculty to really have a top-notch event.”
“People need to understand the lifelong health consequences of trauma and violence on health and wellness,” Forrester adds. “It’s been really important to be able to create places to have those conversations. UConn has made that opportunity available to Clifford Beers multiple times this year.”
Forrester and her partner adopted three children a little over 11 years ago, and she enjoys family dinners, vacations, and activities at home. She also tries to make time to paint and create art, and is an avid reader.