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About Us

The Brookline Community Mental Health Center (BCMHC) heals lives and builds community. For 50 years, our safety net of services has caught individuals before their personal challenges become community-wide problems.

SERVICES.  In 1962, mental health meant treating mental illness.  It still does, but more often today it also means the prevention of serious emotional issues by offering a safety net of violence prevention, risk reduction and community-building services that keep individuals healthy and community's strong.

Treat emotional disorders. Over 100 residents come to BCMHC every day for mental health care. We are a ‘one stop' center, offering individual, family, group counseling and medication for children and adults.

Prevent violence. BCMHC prevents violence in its community by working with local officials to help families heal from domestic violence, by partnering with Boston Public Schools to reduce violence in the city's notorious "hot spots," and mediating disputes in 11 district and juvenile courts.

Reduce risks. BCMHC offers a range of programs for high-risk adolescents, including two transitional shelters for homeless teens; a unique school-based program for Brookline High School students in crisis; and an on-going program for "mean girls" who use relationships to harm rather than nurture.

Build community. Increasingly, BCMHC also offers programs designed to keep the Brookline community strong, including the Sher Parent Education Series for parents of adolescents as well as over 20 prevention and support groups for children of newcomer or recently immigrated families.

CLIENTS. 6000 clients make 38,000 service visits to BCMHC, and participate in 1,500 mediations each year, an average of 152 care episodes per day.  75% of BCMHC's clients are from low to moderate-income families.  48% have a history of abuse or neglect in their homes.  40% of the Center's clients are at-risk youth, including 1,500 Boston teens who live in the city's violence prone neighborhoods. Increasingly, BCMHC is offering services to the families of at-risk youth, helping them understand and respond to the complex issues surrounding children in crisis.

ORGANIZATION.  BCMHC is an independent 501(c)3 facility, governed by a community-based Board of Directors.  Our annual budget is $4.6 million.  We have 6 psychiatrists, 15 psychologists, 32 social workers, 2 psychiatric nurses, 2 case managers, 10 mediators and 10 administrative/office staff.

SUPPORT.  In the 1980s, 80% of BCMHC's revenue came from government grants and reimbursements.  Today, that number is 30%.  Of our 38,000 annual visits, 10,000 are not reimbursable through insurance.  The declining support for mental health services has forced many mental health centers to merge with large institutions and eliminate programs.  Not BCMHC.  Convinced that the need for mental health services is increasing even as support decreases, BCMHC's community board is doubling its physical plant to ensure that individuals in crisis will always have a home to turn to for exceptional care.

To learn more about BCMHC and to support its expansion, please contact Nancy Vineberg at 617-277-8107 or nancyvineberg@brooklinecenter.org