Roundup: Where to Seek Counseling

Boston-area schools, hospitals, and health centers are encouraging all of us to seek help if needed.

Mourners gathered on the Boston Common on April 16 for a vigil. Photo by Regina Mogilevskaya

Mourners gathered on the Boston Common on April 16 for a vigil. Photo by Regina Mogilevskaya

The last two days have been somewhat of a blur, and we all know (too well, perhaps) that daily life rarely comes to a complete halt. As the weeks press on, the barricades, the National Guard, and extra police presence guarding the streets of Boston will slowly be removed, and the scattered debris littering the sidewalks of Boylston will be cleaned up. But just because Boston will start to look like itself again, that doesn’t necessarily mean we will start feeling like ourselves again—at least not right away.

When a tragedy like this happens to the city and people we love, many of us will need—and should seek—professional help. If you need someone to talk to, here are a list of resources available at this time (we will update this list as more resources come in):

Mayor Menino has announced that the City of Boston will staff a counseling center today from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the offices of City Year, located at 287 Columbus Avenue in Boston. Assistance by phone is also available: a 24-hour hotline at 617-635-4500 and a Health Line at 617-534-5050.

Boston University is offering counseling through the Dean of Students Office. Students are also encouraged to reach out to Student Health Services at 617-353-3575, and BU’s Sexual Assault Response & Prevention Center at  617-353-7277.

Emerson College is offering walk-in appointments at the Counseling Center, and counselors will be visiting the dining hall during meals. 

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration is offering immediate counseling at 1-800-985-5990.

Insurers Cigna and Aetna are offering free telephone consultations for the next two weeks, putting callers in touch with qualified clinicians. People with Cigna insurance should call the number located on their insurance card, while Aetna members and non-members can call 1-888-238-6232.

Northeastern University encourages students in need of assistance to reach out to the Center for Spirituality, Dialogue, and Service at 617-373-2728, as well as University Health and Counseling Services at 617-373-2772. The Sacred Space and Reflection Room in 200-203 Ell Hall will be open for reflection and prayer.

The Park Plaza Castle, located at the intersection of Columbus Avenue and Arlington Street, has been temporarily turned into a resource and information center. Counselors are available onsite. 

Suffolk University students may contact the Counseling Center at 617-573-8226. The Center will be open for urgent care walk-in appointments from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday through Friday.

The American Red Cross offers free 24/7 counseling  and support. Contact the Disaster Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990 or text “TalkWithUs’ to 66746.

Screening for Mental Health, a non-profit that seeks to improve mental health by educating the public, is providing the public an easy way to asses mental health in partnership with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The two created a website,, to help people cope in the aftermath of the tragedy.