The city and one of its leading nonprofits are working together to provide affordable, accessible bilingual mental and behavioral healthcare services to Chelsea’s most vulnerable residents.
The city, through its Department of Housing and Community Development and Department of Health and Human Services, recently awarded a $170,000 contract to North Suffolk Community Services (formerly North Suffolk Mental Health Association) to deliver the Latino Community Action Response Team (Latino CART) services through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) recovery fund program.
This investment represents a small, but meaningful step towards addressing systemic racial inequities that make mental health services inaccessible and unaffordable to residents,especially residents without insurance coverage, according to Alex Train, Director of Housing and Community Development. The city’s ARPA community recovery plan highlights the mental health needs of its residents and how the mental health crisis is sharply impacting them.
“Countless residents experience indescribable trauma and grapple with barriers to accessing mental health care that aren’t present in wealthier, white communities,” said Train. “We’re grateful for the opportunity to partner with North Suffolk Community Services to make culturally sensitive, bilingual mental and behavioral health services available to all residents, regardless of insurance or immigration status.”
The program consists of one full-time clinician and one full-time navigator that works to connect residents to a range of clinical mental health services, peer counseling, and supportive case management. Complementing the Commonwealth’s new Community Behavioral Health
Center (CBHC) Program, Latino CART clinicians will deliver services in the community, with a focus on aiding uninsured residents, regardless of immigration status.
North Suffolk Community Services was recently designated one of 25 CBHCs rolling out in early 2023 in the state. North Suffolk will deliver 24/7 community-based mobile crisis intervention and stabilization as an alternative to overwhelmed hospital emergency departments, for individuals of all ages in East Boston, Chelsea, Revere, Winthrop, and Charlestown.
“We thank the City of Chelsea for prioritizing our vulnerable underinsured and uninsured population,” said Emmy Porto, Director of Child, Youth and
Family Services for North Suffolk Community Services. “Latino CART services will ensure this marginalize population will continue to receive
the ongoing support it deserves.”