New Milford Hospital's Behavioral Health Services Department has experienced plenty of activity in recent weeks.

The department welcomed Ludi Pappas and Joan Wyner, both licensed clinical social workers who specialize in care for children and families.

Ms. Pappas, who brings more than 10 years experience as a behavioral health therapist, most recently served since 2008 as the clinical director and manager of an intensive outpatient program at Sharon Hospital.

During her clinical work at family service agencies in Stamford, Meriden, New Milford and Newtown, she addressed a wide range of mental health issues using individual, couple, family and group modalities in.

Ms. Wyner, who brings more than 30 years of experience as a therapist and social worker to the job, most recently worked as a family therapist in Brookfield since 2000.

Her experience includes work as a family therapist and school social worker in New York and Connecticut between 1984 and 1997, and as a medical social worker at Lankenau Hospital in Philadelphia and New York University Medical Cooperative Care Center from 1979 to 1984.

She has also served as a clinical coordinator, therapist and school social worker in the communities of Brookfield, Cheshire, Danbury and Newtown.

The behavioral health team has launched a Trauma Recovery and Empowerment Group for women, scheduled to begin on the first Thursday in October.

Led by Laura Shackelford, PhD, and Barbara Freuler, LCSW, the psycho-educational group will offer weekly topics with questions and an exercise to educate participants about how trauma and abuse affects lives.

The group will also focus on skill development to better cope with current life problems that might be related to past trauma.

The Behavioral Health Services Department offers complete outpatient mental health care at 23 Poplar St., just north of the hospital.

The Services team also offers other youth, adult and family therapy groups to address social skills, parenting issues, and self-esteem in teenagers.

For more information and appointments, call 860-210-5350 or visit www.NewMilfordHospital.org.