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Behavioral Health

Project Engage

Project Engage is an early intervention and referral to substance abuse.

What is Project Engage?

Project Engage is an early intervention and referral to substance use disorder treatment program designed to help hospital patients who may be struggling with alcohol or drug use. 

Project Engage collaborates with hospital staff to identify and connect patients with community-based substance use disorder treatment programs and other resources.  

Project Engage integrates peers in recovery, who are called Engagement Specialists, into the clinical setting in the hospital to meet with patients at their bedside about their alcohol and/or drug use. 

Engagement specialist listening to a patient

The Engagement Specialists learn about the patient’s goals and coordinate treatment options that support the patient’s needs. The Engagement Specialists use motivational interviewing to empower each patient in the decision-making process, assisting them to take that critical first step to seek help for their substance use. Project Engage Discharge Coordinators are experts in community resources, in obtaining access to facilities in the area and in assisting the team to overcome barriers so patients can receive care and transition into treatment.

In addition to working with the patient and the hospital clinical team, Project Engage also works with treatment providers and insurers to develop a discharge plan to achieve the best possible outcome for each patient. After leaving the hospital and engaging in treatment, patients may have the opportunity to continue to work with an Engagement Specialist to help them stay engaged in their treatment.


Project Engage is a unique and innovative program that began in 2008 with a single Engagement Specialist at Wilmington Hospital. The program expanded to Christiana Hospital in 2011 and to the Emergency Departments at Christiana and Wilmington hospitals in 2013.

Community and Online Resources

If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, getting into treatment is an important first step. The State of Delaware offers a list of resources for substance abuse counseling and treatment at
www.HelpIsHereDE.com. You can also locate help and information at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration at www.samhsa.gov and at the National Institute on Drug Abuse at www.drugabuse.gov.

Project Engage is a collaboration between Connections Community Support Programs, Inc. and ChristianaCare.

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