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Mental Health First Aid

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Get matched with a mental health services provider, call the INTERFACE REFERRAL HELPLINE 888-244-6843 (toll free). Available from Mon – Fri, 9am – 5pm for Reading residents.

Eligibility: The Reading Coalition offers the following program for adults that live, work or go to school in Reading, Massachusetts. 

Course Type: YOUTH Mental Health First Aid (geared to adults interacting with youth ages 12-18)

Details: The program covers the unique risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems, builds understanding of the importance of early intervention, and teaches individuals how to help an adolescent in crisis or experiencing a mental health challenge. It uses role playing and simulations to demonstrate how to assess a mental health crisis, select interventions and provide initial help as well as connect young people to professional, peer, and self-help care. Participants will receive a book and certification.

To learn more about upcoming classes, please email



Eligibility: The Reading Coalition offers the following program for adults that live, work or go to school in Reading, Massachusetts. 

Course Type: ADULT Mental Health First Aid (geared to adults interacting with adults)

Details: The the program covers the unique risk factors and warning signs of adult mental health problems, builds understanding of the importance of early intervention, and teaches individuals how to help an adolescent in crisis or experiencing a mental health challenge.  The course also covers the impact of mental illness and provides an overview of common supports. It teaches the common risk factors and warning signs of specific illnesses like anxiety, depression, substance use, bipolar disorder, eating disorders, and schizophrenia. Local resources are shared. Participants will receive a book and certification.

To learn more about upcoming classes, please email

Many Reading Police officers attend the 8-hour Public Safety Mental Health First Aid training. In addition to their certification training, guest speakers from Eliot Community Human Services advised officers on local mobile crisis and emergency stabilization services. 

Select Reading Police Officers have also completed the CIT (Crisis Intervention Training) Program, which is an advanced 40 hour training. 

INTERFACE REFERRAL SERVICE- Get connected to mental health!



National Alliance for Mentally Ill (NAMI) in Massachusetts is a vital state resource for individuals and families facing the challenges of mental illness, providing free mental health family-based education, family and peer support and grassroots advocacy.


Peer support is getting help from someone who has been there. People with similar experiences may be able to listen, give hope and guidance toward recovery in a way that is different, and is just as valuable, as professional services. Peer services include mutual support groups, peer-run programs and services in traditional mental health agencies provided by peer support specialists. While peer support groups may be composed entirely of people who have simply learned through their own experience, some types of peer providers undergo training and certification to qualify. In addition to direct services, many peer-run organizations advocate to improve opportunities for people recovering from mental illnesses.

Emergency Service Program (ESP) Community-Based Location: Each ESP will operate at least one location in the catchment area where its services will also be available. These locations will be open a minimum of 12 hours per day on weekdays and eight hours per day on weekends. Some of these sites will be open 24 hours per day. Peer Specialist services are incorporated into the ESPs’ community-based locations. Call 1-877-382-1609 to locate one near you.

Adult Community Crisis Stabilization (CCS): Emergency Service Programs (ESP) operate CCS programs that provide staff secure, safe, and structured crisis treatment services in a community-based program, which serves as a less restrictive and voluntary alternative to inpatient care. This program serves ages 18 and older. Call 1-877-382-1609 to locate one near you.

NAMI Connection Recovery Support Groups

Support Groups sponsored by other organizations

Online Support

The Warmline is a call in service that provides the mental health consumer (Peer) community with a place to turn if they need someone to talk to. The Warmline staff are mental health consumers that have received the training and education needed to provide Warmline services to the community.

NAMI Greater Boston Consumer Advocacy/Affiliate Network, is a grassroots organization primarily consisting of mental health consumers

Consumer and Family Resource Guide – A listing of information and referral resources available from the DMH Information and Referral Line – Call 800-221-0053.

The Transformation Center is a peer-operated center with a mental health focus on wellness and life recovery through dialogue, education, systems change advocacy, and peer support. We currently offer training for Peer Specialist Certification, Leadership Academy, WRAP Facilitation, Recovery Conversations for Providers and more. The Transformation Center works closely with the six (6) Recovery Learning Communities (RLCs) across the state. RLCs offer training and support for peers working and volunteering to promote wellness and recovery in the local communities.

Recovery Learning Communities (RLC) are peer-run organizations that work together in bringing unique services and opportunities to people with serious mental illness and frequently co-occurring disorders such as drug or alcohol abuse and/or dependence. These services include employment, social activities, outreach, education, and training conferences. These services are provided by peers for peers in a peer sensitive environment. Many of these RLC’s have satellite sites so ask if there’s one near you. Here are the links to visit the websites:Northeast MA

The Massachusetts Clubhouse Coalition (MCC)has 32 clubhouses around the state. Participation in the clubhouse is free to those who have a serious and persistent mental illness. Clubhouses are founded on the belief that rehabilitation for people who are working to recover from the effects of mental illness is greatly facilitated when individuals participate in meaningful work, including paid employment.

The Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation, located in Boston, Massachusetts, is affiliated with Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences at Boston University. The Center is a research, training, and service organization dedicated to improving the lives of persons who have psychiatric disabilities by improving the effectiveness of people, programs, and service systems.

Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP): People with mental health issues can have hope, control over their lives, develop self-directed wellness plans, and recover, working toward meeting their own life dreams and goals. WRAP is an evidence-based program: WRAP – an evidence-based program (PDF).  To find a WRAP class near you contact the person at this link: Many RLC’s offer WRAP classes so you can contact the one that is in your area to find out if a class is scheduled.

M-POWER is a member run organization of mental health consumers and current and former psychiatric patients. We advocate for political and social change within the mental health system, the community, city, and statewide.

The Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion of Individuals with Psychiatric Disabilities has developed a wide-ranging collection of resources for the field.  Our knowledge translation activities include peer reviewed publications in national journals, nearly one hundred toolkits, monographs, and guidebooks designed to provide policy and practical guidance to consumers and providers working to expand community participation, and a catalogue of exemplary programs

Independent Living Centers of Massachusetts, provide Information and Referral, Skills Training and Peer Mentoring Services.

StrengthofUs is an online community designed to empower young adults through resource sharing and peer support and to build connections for those navigating the unique challenges and opportunities in the transition-age years.

The Facing Us Clubhouse is a program brought to you by The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA).

Whatadifference – this site is here for people living with mental illness —and their friends. You’ll find tools to help in the recovery process, and you can also learn about the different kinds of mental illnesses, read real-life stories about support and recovery, and interact with the video to see how friends can make all the difference.

The STAR Center provides Support, Technical Assistance and Resources to assist consumer-operated and consumer-helper programs in meeting the needs of under-served populations. 

Samaritans’ primary suicide prevention program is the 24 Hour/7 day Telephone Befriending Service offered from two locations in Boston and Framingham. Anyone in need can use the support of Samaritans, which is free, confidential, anonymous, and is accessible any time of the day or night. In addition to supporting depressed, lonely and suicidal callers, this program also supports those calling with concerns for others. You can call them at 877-870-4673.

Samariteens is a teen help line that provides confidential peer support and understanding to teens who are struggling with feelings of depression, loneliness and stress. From 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays, and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekends, this service is staffed by volunteers between the ages of 15 and 18; outside those hours, calls are answered by adult volunteers. Teens call 800-252-8336.

SouthCoast Compeer is a local affiliate of Compeer (companion + peer), an award-winning international volunteer program that uses the power of friendship to help people in mental health recovery live happier lives by reducing social isolation and increasing the likelihood of community integration. A complement to traditional therapy, SouthCoast Compeer is based at UMass Dartmouth and serves Fall River, New Bedford, Taunton, and the surrounding towns.

The National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse – Directory of Consumer-Driven Services is maintained by New England INDEX. Contained within this site is a wealth of information for people with disabilities, their friends, families and the people who serve them. Information within this site focuses on Massachusetts

Massachusetts Adult Day Services Association, Find an Adult Day Services Facility in your area.

National Adult Day Services, Find an Adult Day Program or Services near You.

Sowing seeds of mental health recovery, resources, information, and support while growing consumer leadership.

Magellan health services’ new online learning tools support individual resiliency and recovery and offer free resource available to families, mental health consumers and providers. The e-Learning Center is a free resource that currently hosts 10 interactive “e-courses” in English and in Spanish, offering in-depth strategies and techniques for promoting resiliency and recovery. The e-courses include testimonials of personal experiences that provide motivation and each can be completed in 30- 45 minutes:


Understanding Mental Health

Learn more about Mental Health 

SAMHSA Caring for Every Child's Mental Health


Child Mind Institute


National Institute of Mental Health


Seize the Awkward


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