Zeninjor Enwemeka, Boston.com
The Boston Public Health Commission is offering a series of counseling sessions with trained clinicians to help people cope with the upcoming anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings.
“We understand that the anniversary may trigger a lot of emotions for anyone impacted by last year’s attack, and we want to make sure people have access to the support that they may need,” said Dr. Barbara Ferrer, the executive director of BPHC.
Drop-in counseling services will be provided at the Boston Public Library in Copley Square from 5:00pm-7:00pm on April 8, April 15, April 22, and April 29. The services are free of charge and do not require an appointment.
Starting next week, residents can also call the Mayor’s Health Line at 617-534-5050 for over-the-phone counseling. The line will be open weekdays from 9:00am to 5:00pm.
The hotline will also be staffed from 8:00am to 8:00pm on Marathon Monday. In-person counseling will be offered at the same time at Our Lady of Victories Church in Copley Square.
Additionally, the BPHC has set up a series of community workshops on emergency preparedness and dealing with traumatic experiences.
“We also recognize that certain communities are exposed to trauma and violence on an ongoing basis, and we hope that our workshops give people some tools to build resilience and care for loved ones,” Ferrer said.
Here is the schedule for the workshops:
– Tuesday, April 8 at 7:00pm at the Boston Centers for Youth & Families Mildred Avenue Community Center in Mattapan
– Thursday, April 10 at 6:00pm at the Boston Centers for Youth & Families Grove Hall Community Center in Roxbury
– Monday, April 14 at 7:00pm at The Salvation Army Kroc Center in Dorchester
There will also be a community forum for residents in the Copley Square area on Friday, April 11 from 12:00-2:00pm at the YWCA at 140 Clarendon Street. The session will be led by a licensed mental health clinician, and will focus on coping strategies ahead of the first anniversary of the bombings.