The Riverside Trauma Center in Needham will be managing psychological first aid for residents and businesses outside Boston affected by the Boston Marathon Bombings, according to a statement released Wednesday.
The Massachusetts Departments of Mental Health and Public Health requested the center, a service of Riverside Community Care headquartered in Dedham, to take on this responsibility, the statement said.
“We know that the tragic events of this magnitude will have lasting behavioral health effects,” said Department of Mental Health Commissioner Marcia Fowler. “I have every confidence that Riverside has the necessary experience in delivering crisis services to help with this enormous task.”
Riverside provides behavioral healthcare and human series across eastern and central Massachusetts. The trauma center helps people recover from overwhelming stress caused by traumatic events through community outreach, consultation, and counseling.
Riverside Trauma Center teams have already responded to a large number of requests for help from schools, communities, businesses, and families in Boston and throughout the surrounding communities, according to the statement.
This is the trauma center’s third large-scale deployment in the past three years in response to a statewide tragedy, the statement said. The most recent was the tornadoes that demolished homes in the Springfield area in 2011.
The Boston Public Health Commission will continue to manage requests for behavioral health support within the Boston city limits.
“While Boston has begun to heal as a city, we know that for many people there is still a long road to recovery,” said Dr. Barbara Ferrer, executive director of the Boston Public Health Commission. “There are countless folks in greater Boston that will need a supportive voice and help coping in the days and weeks ahead, and we want to do everything possible to make sure professional help is easy to access.”
Anyone continuing to experience reactions such as anxiety or difficulty sleeping is encouraged to call the Riverside Trauma Center at 855-279-0632.