Center for Life Management, Derry, New Hampshire [Derry, NH] | Behavioral Healthcare Executive Skip to content Skip to navigation

Center for Life Management, Derry, New Hampshire [Derry, NH]

December 1, 2007
by root
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Photographer: John Gauvin, CPP, Studio One

In July the Center for Life Management (CLM) opened the doors of its new two-story 28,000-square-foot facility in Derry, New Hampshire. CLM is a comprehensive community mental health center that has been providing services to Southern New Hampshire for 40 years.
This modern facility serves as CLM's primary and centralized location for outpatient and community-based care. CLM previously owned and operated three older outpatient buildings, which required frequent structural improvements.

Opechee Construction Corp. of Belmont, New Hampshire, constructed the facility using a design-build approach. JSA, Inc., of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, handled the interior design (finishes, artwork, and furniture selection). The facility includes 42 treatment offices for counselors, nurses, case managers, and psychiatrists; three waiting areas; two group therapy rooms; conference and training rooms; a private triage/crisis service area; a central administration area; centralized medical records (implementation of an electronic health record system is in progress); and an on-site pharmacy. Following an approach that “the program should drive real estate decisions,” CLM chose a location adjacent to a large primary care practice and specialty medical practices, which was consistent with CLM's strategic goal to improve integration between mental health and medical services.
During the design phase input from all levels of staff, including direct-service providers, was considered, and special attention was given to each program's unique traits to enhance integration and seamless care across the service spectrum. In addition, the design team focused on creating a tranquil, inviting atmosphere that sets the stage for the ideal treatment relationship between clients and clinicians. This inviting atmosphere begins with a lobby that welcomes and provides a soothing environment for clients, especially those seeking treatment for the first time.

The design concept (“comfort in nature”) was rooted in the belief that people receive the best care when they are at ease and comfortable in their environment, and it focused on colors, finishes, lighting, furniture, and artwork selection. Natural light is brought inside through large windows in virtually all of the treatment offices, and the windows are tinted to protect patients’ privacy and confidentiality. Warm colors (such as rosemary sprig green and autumn orange) throughout the building evoke New England's landscape, and some interior spaces feature translucent resin accent panels with amber reed motifs.

For the building's exterior, the design team chose traditional red brick for its ageless appearance and to be consistent with the building's New England location.
“It's been truly incredible to watch our dream of a new center come together and take shape in such a tangible way,” says Vic Topo, CLM's CEO.

For more information about CLM, please visit