BPHC logoThe Boston Public Health Commission has opened a new drop-in center to continue to provide emotional support to anyone affected by last week’s attack on the Boston Marathon.  People experience a range of emotions following traumatic events, and BPHC has trained clinicians on-site to speak with anyone that needs to talk.  The drop-in center will provide free counseling at the Boston Area Health Education Center, located at 729 Massachusetts Avenue.  It will be open daily from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. through Friday of this week.

While the physical injuries and destruction that resulted from the bombings might be the most visible signs of trauma, many people experience serious emotional distress based on what they saw, heard, and felt during and after the attack.  Sometimes these symptoms do not surface immediately.  For many people, a newly traumatic event can also trigger emotions and feelings associated with previous traumatic events, making recovery that much more challenging.

Understanding the deep impacts of this emotional distress, city officials opened the drop-in center as a safe place for people to come together and talk about their experiences over the past week.  Anyone that needs to talk through their thoughts and feelings is encouraged to visit the center.

The drop-in center will offer one-on-one time with trained clinicians as well as facilitation of group conversations. Groups from a particular workplace or community affected by the attack are welcome and encouraged to visit the drop-in center together.

Free parking will be available at an adjacent garage, located at 35 Northampton Street.

The Mayor’s Health Line will continue to provide free trauma counseling and support over the phone throughout the week.  Please call 617-534-5050, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., to speak with a trained clinician.  Groups that would like to visit the drop-in center are encouraged to call the Mayor’s Health Line ahead of their visit to make sure staff can properly accommodate them.  Individual visitors do not need to call ahead.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation also maintains a Victim Assistance Call Center, which operates 24-hours a day, at 1-800-331-0075.  To learn more about other forms of assistance being offered by the FBI, please visit their website.