The City of Boston Is Offering Free Counseling Resources

Confidential support is available in-person, over the phone, and online.



The Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) has organized a set of free, confidential “emotional wellness” resources for the public due to the upcoming anniversary of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings. Starting Tuesday, there will be a series of neighborhood workshops offering a mix of resources that are Marathon anniversary-specific and will also be useful for dealing with other traumatic experiences that may come up in life.

According to the BPHC, the sessions will include information on coping, self-care, and recognizing when additional assistance might be needed. The first anniversary of a disaster, BPHC reps say, is often the hardest because it can be difficult to know how to mark the event.

“We understand that the anniversary may trigger a lot of emotions for anyone impacted by last year’s attack, and we want to make sure people have access to the support that they may need,” said Dr. Barbara Ferrer, executive director of BPHC, in a statement. “We also recognize that certain communities are exposed to trauma and violence on an ongoing basis, and we hope that our workshops give people some tools to build resilience and care for loved ones.”

According to BPHC, the American Red Cross, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Riverside Community Care, the Salvation Army, and the U.S. Health and Human Services Mental Health Team delivered more than 600 hours of counseling to thousands of people in the days after the bombings.

Here are the details:

Clinicians with the Mayor’s Health Line will offer phone-based counseling starting April 14. The Mayor’s Health Line is open on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and clinicians will return any messages left after-hours on the following day. People are encouraged to call 617-534-5050 to speak with a clinician.

On Marathon Monday (April 21), the hotline will be staffed with clinicians from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Drop-in counseling and events: 

April 11:

A forum will be led by a licensed mental health clinician to learn coping strategies for addressing trauma.
12 p.m. to 2 p.m.; YWCA; 140 Clarendon Street

April 8, 15, 22, and 29: 

Free counseling Tuesday evenings from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Boston Public Library, McKim Courtyard Room
Central Library, 700 Boylston St.

April 8:

7 p.m.; BCYF Mildred Avenue Community Center
5 Mildred Avenue, Mattapan

April 10:

6 p.m.; BCYF Grove Hall Community Center
51 Geneva Avenue, Roxbury

April 14

7 p.m.; The Salvation Army Kroc Center
650 Dudley Street, Dorchester

April 21:

All day; Our Lady of Victories Church
27 Isabella Street near Copley Square.

Tips and additional resources to help adults and children cope with trauma are available online at