September 19, 2008
Counseling services close to home

Charlestown's close-knit community has faced a growing substance abuse and mental health crisis. During the past few years, residents there have been increasingly alarmed by spiking addiction and overdose rates, which are among the highest in the city. In response to this epidemic, six months ago the MGH Charlestown HealthCare Center unveiled the Monument Street Counseling Center to expand and broaden access to much-needed services in the community.

Located within the Bunker Hill housing development, the center's focus is on the local community. Its staff – clinical social workers, a resource specialist and a psychiatric clinical nurse specialist – offer adult and adolescent patients a full spectrum of services. These include comprehensive evaluation of mental health and substance abuse disorders; individualized treatment planning; therapy for individuals, couples, families and groups; interventions; and referrals for medications or other medical services. Some special initiatives include a support group for teenage girls coping with substance abuse disorders, which will launch this month, and two groups for adults recovering from addictions that will begin later this fall.

monument street center staffThe Monument Street Center is an affiliate of MGH Charlestown and led by Lorenzo Lewis, MD, medical director; Richard Hall, LICSW, clinical director; and Peggy Carolan-Bolognese, administrative director. In order to receive services, patients must either be a Charlestown resident or have a primary care physician at MGH Charlestown. For more information or to make a referral, call (617) 643-5020. 

GOOD COUNSEL: From left, Carolyn Delaney; Tracey Moriarty, MSW; Melissa Kelly, LICSW, MSW; Lewis; Cally Woodward, APRN-BC; Hall; Evelyn Rivera; and Carolan-Bolognese.

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