Board of Health (508) 862-4644 health@town.barnstable.ma.us

As part of its efforts to support the behavioral health needs of Massachusetts residents during the COVID-19 pandemic, yesterday, the Baker-Polito Administration announced the availability of a new crisis counseling assistance program. The new program, MassSupport, is funded through a grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) made available through the federal disaster declaration. Riverside Community Care is providing the crisis counseling under contract with the Department of Mental Health.

Riverside Trauma Center will deploy its trauma response and crisis intervention expertise in a statewide initiative to bring behavioral health resources, information, and referrals directly to individuals and communities. To reach MassSupport, anyone in the state can call 888-215-4920 to be connected with local support. Counseling is available in English and Spanish.

At the outset of the program, MassSupport will both support the Mass 2-1-1 call center and will deploy outreach counselors and clinicians to provide Psychological First Aid in the form of basic education and counseling around issues related to the pandemic, and assess high-risk individuals for mental health referrals. Future expansions include the provision of more crisis counseling for the lasting effects of the pandemic, community education on coping with ongoing stress and building emotional resilience, and assistance for people applying for services to relieve crisis-related burdens.

To tailor assistance to the wide variety of needs representing diverse communities throughout Massachusetts, Riverside responders will gather input from local community and public health leaders, school personnel, and first responders; work with mental health providers to create networks and streamline referrals; and disseminate targeted information via outreach efforts and social media.
For additional information on the MassSupport program, please call 888-215-4920, or email masssupport@riversidecc.org. Visit the web site at www.masssupport.org.