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May is Mental Health Awareness Month. The last year of the Covid-19 Pandemic has taken a toll on many folks’ mental health. We know that there has been a significant increase in depression and anxiety in the US during the pandemic. Covid-19 stress and isolation has also contributed to worsening substance abuse and substance use disorder relapses for many who have been in remission. Here are some important resources to know about if you or someone you care about needs help. You may also call Alison Christopher, LICSW-Town Social Worker at 978-399-2325 for support, assistance, and referrals.
For people whose lives have been impacted by another person’s substance use:
This MA Al-Anon site enables individuals to find meetings, access calendar events, etc.: https://alanonma.org/
This Al-Anon site offers informative downloadable items:
This Al-Anon site is In the Loop, a monthly Newsletter from the World Service Organization aka WSO:
Learn to Cope-virtual online support groups and forum for those with loved ones with substance use disorder or in recovery. Call 508-738-5148 from 9-4:30 to talk with staff and get connected.
For people concerned with their own substance use:
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)-Disaster Distress Helpline 24/7-800-985-5990
Alcoholics Anonymous-978-957-4690, https://www.aaemassd21.org/
Narcotics Anonymous- www.na.org
MA Substance Abuse Information and Education Helpline-800-327-5050, www.helpline-online.com
SAMHSA National Helpline-800-662-HELP(4357)-free 24/7 information/referral
SMART Recovery-Group meets at Emerson Hospital-866-951-5357, https://www.smartrecoverytest.org/local/
For People with Dementia and their care partners:
Free Family Caregiver Conference in May!
Alzheimer’s Association MA/NH Chapter to host virtual Family Caregiver Conference
The Alzheimer’s Association Massachusetts/New Hampshire Chapter will host a free virtual educational conference for family caregivers and individuals living with dementia. The inaugural two-day Family Conference will take place Friday, May 14 and Saturday, May 15. The virtual conference is free and open to those caring for a loved one at home, professional caregivers, and the general public.
The conference will feature a presentation by keynote speaker Tom Keane, titled Into Light: A story of loving, losing, and loving. Keane is a regular contributor to the Boston Globe who served as a caregiver for his wife, Laurie, during her battle with Younger-Onset Alzheimer’s disease. Participants will also hear from a panel of individuals living with dementia sharing their perspective and coping strategies.
For a full list of sessions, topics, and speakers, and to register for the event, visit alzfamilyconference.org, or call the Alzheimer’s Association’s 24/7 Helpline at 800-272-3900 or email Regional Manager, Meghan Lemay at firstname.lastname@example.org
For individuals experiencing mental health concerns:
In any life-threatening emergency, call 911. For an urgent mental health issue, you may also call the Area Behavioral Health Mobile Crisis Team 24/7 at 877-382-1609.
Mass 211-Call2Talk-24/7 helpline-508-532-2255
Mass Support-Network-Funded by FEMA and managed by MA Dept of Mental Health and Riverside Trauma Center. Provides services to ALL Massachusetts residents during the Covid-19 pandemic. Anonymous, confidential, free program for emotional support, coping strategies, resources, and information. Leave a message at 888-215-4920 and get a response within a few hours Mon-Saturday 8AM-8PM or Email MassSupport@riversidecc.org. They also run virtual groups re: stress management, wellness, and coping with the pandemic.
William James Interface-M-F 9-5-Referral/connection to mental health professionals for Westford residents-888-244-6843
For people experiencing domestic violence:
Massachusetts SafeLink Domestic Violence Hotline 24/7 crisis hotline-877-785-2020
National Domestic Violence Hotline-24/7 crisis hotline-800-799-7233