Somerville Mental Health Association

Welcome Somerville Mental Health Association!  SMHA has become part of Riverside Community Care.  Below is an article explaining the recent merger:

Non-profit Merger Ensures Stability

(As seen in the Somerville News on March 29, 2012)

In a faltering economy and with a high national debt, many of the less-visible, federally funded services have fallen by the wayside. However, the Somerville Mental Health Association recently announced a merger with the local Riverside Community Care that will ensure the continuity of its services and programs.

The Somerville Mental Health Association (SMHA), a staple in the city since 1964, was created to assist residents through a myriad of hardships. Some of its programs include adult mental health treatment, a court clinic, and suicide prevention services at the public schools. The non-profit additionally assisted outpatient care, homeless shelters, public housing developments, and childcare centers to further support those in need of aid. The organization’s Head Start program focuses on assisting children and parents of non-English speaking homes work through the laborious task of assimilating to a new culture, a tough job market, and entering public schooling without a firm grasp on the language used.

While the SMHA has no doubt assisted many residents through hard times, it was at risk of losing many of its employees and programs after a substantial piece of federal funding was no longer available. The decision by board members, Michael Dwyer, Ed Smith, and Michael McHugh, was to seek out a partnership to alleviate the financial burden and continue offering its many crucial amenities. The merger of the SMHA with Riverside Community Care (Riverside) has been in the making for one year, and has strengthened the offerings of both non-profits.

Riverside is a well-known non-profit that continues to evolve and grow in spite of disparaging fiscal times in the nation. Riverside services approximately 40,000 individuals annually, in 70 Massachusetts cities and towns with more than 100 programs aimed at assisting residents with mental and physical health ailments. Some of its amenities range from early childhood services and developmental disabilities to mental healthcare, addiction treatment, and traumatic brain injury programs. In the negotiations, the SMHA board of directors worked to ensure that none of its services would be lost as a result of the merger. Michael Dwyer, a general practice attorney and homegrown Somerville resident who was one of the SMHA board of directors and now a member of the board at Riverside, expressed his excitement for the partnership. “What we’ve received has been the benefit of Riverside’s management personnel, who have stepped in and done a wonderful job,” said Dwyer, who is also a member of Somerville’s board of mental health.  Dwyer explained that the SMHA was in need of improved management practices and modernized systems, as well as guidance regarding essential tasks such as navigating the state tax and billing processes. He also cited his gratitude for Riverside’s President, Scott Bock, who was paramount in the decision to join forces, who helped facilitate the merger and assisted the SMHA through trying times.  All three of the former board of directors for the SMHA are now acting members of the board at Riverside, and will continue to work with the non-profit to strengthen its practices, services, and programs.

To find:

  • Somerville Mental Health Association’s Adult Mental Health & Addiction Treatment Services – click here
  • Somerville Mental Health Association’s Child & Family Services or Early Head Start – click here
  • Somerville Mental Health Association’s Employment Opportunities– click here

We are pleased to share comments from the people we serve:

"I am a single mother of two children ages 10 and 9. Both children have very challenging disabilities that are a daily struggle both at home and at school; coupled with behavioral issues which makes the simplest tasks complicated. The staff at Riverside are phenomenal! They have been my 'rock' on many occasions and without them I would be completely and utterly lost."