WORCESTER – As the pandemic continues to have a profound impact on mental health, a local nonprofit has expanded its services to meet increased demand for in-person visits and telehealth.
The Seven Hills Foundation celebrated the grand opening of its new 25,000 square foot behavioral health center – Seven Hills Child & Family Behavioral Health – at 135 Gold Star Blvd. on Monday afternoon.
YOU Inc.’s Primary Center for Behavioral Health Clinical Operations
The new center, which began operating in late August, will serve as the primary hub for behavioral health clinical operations for Youth Opportunities Upheld (YOU Inc.) and the Children’s Friend and Family Services of Central Massachusetts, where the Seven Hills subsidiaries have supported children and families in Worcester for decades.
In attendance were David A. Jordan, President of the Seven Hills Foundation; Kathleen M. Jordan, executive vice president and general manager of the Seven Hills Foundation; Seven Hills staff; and several elected officials, including City Manager Edward M. Augustus Jr., State Senator Anne M. Gobi, State Representatives Kimberly N. Ferguson and Hannah Kane, and City Councilor Matt Wally.
A tour of the new center was offered to local and state officials after the opening.
âHistorically, we’ve worked a lot with teens,â said Kathleen Jordan, adding that the âno-wrongâ door expands services, including adult support, addiction expertise and more. “This clinic allows us to work with children and adults regardless of their behavior or health needs.”
Augustus, a longtime advocate for mental health services in the city, spoke during opening remarks.
âSeven Hills continues to be a vital partner in our work here in the city and beyond,â said Augustus, who has seen a substantial increase in the number of people with mental health conditions since the start of the pandemic, especially anxiety related to financial stress or health problems. âThey continue to respond where there is a need – and today this is a crucial example of their willingness to take on big projects that help those in need.
â(They) just aren’t able to continue with their normal routine,â Augustus continued. âAnything we can do to expand access to mental health services is essential. “
The new integrated building includes a lobby, several conference rooms, group therapy rooms and clinical offices that can accommodate 120 clinicians at the center.
A special training room – the Maurice J. Boisvert Learning Center – is named after Maurice J. Boisvert, founding president and CEO of YOU Inc. who has helped for 40 years to build a better future for young people and adults. families.
Additional technologies are also integrated throughout the center to support Seven Hills 2.0 – a care design that allows clinicians, healthcare providers, nurses and physicians to connect directly with patients.
The new âopen accessâ model will allow people to access care without sitting on a waiting list in the event of a crisis.
Several Seven Hills programs run by affiliates, including home therapy, foster care and other community programs, will also be housed in the building.