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Advocates, a nonprofit human-services provider, has been designated by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services to operate community behavioral-health sites serving Arlington residents.

The effort is part of a state initiative designed to provide accessible and equitable mental health care, including to people in crisis who otherwise would seek care in a hospital emergency department.

The service sites in Waltham and Framingham plan to open in January and to serve 31 communities in eastern and central Massachusetts. They will operate among a statewide network of 25 centers whose mission is to help meet the growing demand for behavioral health care caused, in part, by the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic.

'Excited to be part of new model'

"Advocates is excited to be part of this new model and standard of care that will make it easier for anyone – from those with a routine behavioral-health concern to those experiencing a crisis – to gain access to high-quality, community-based care," Diane Gould, president and CEO of Advocates, said in a statement, which YourArlington confirmed.

"We are grateful for the work of the Executive Office of Health and Human Services to bring new solutions to the table at a time when so many community members are struggling with the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, and for the collaborative way in which they have approached this challenge."

The Advocates' sites aim' intention is to provide same-day evaluation and access to treatment, and to maintain evening and weekend hours to maximize accessibility.

Advocates is a partner with two other human services agencies, Spectrum Health Systems and Wayside Youth & Family Support Network, in operating the center. Wayside has a facility in Arlington.

Services include behavioral-health urgent care, clinical and peer support services, crisis intervention and crisis stabilization beds.

Besides Arlington, the new Advocates' sites are to serve individuals and families in Acton, Ashland, Bedford, Belmont, Boxborough, Burlington, Carlisle, Concord, Framingham, Holliston, Hopkinton, Hudson, Lexington, Lincoln, Littleton, Maynard, Marlborough, Natick, Northborough, Sherborn, Southborough, Stow, Sudbury, Waltham, Watertown, Wayland, Westborough, Wilmington, Winchester and Woburn.

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This news announcement was published Saturday, Aug. 13, 2022, with information confirmed by Diane Gould, LICSW, of Advocates, Inc.