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The Brien Center’s Youth Substance Abuse Services is Awarded $25K

A Walmart Foundation Grant will support Substance Abuse Education, Prevention and Treatment

(PITTSFIELD) November 30, 2016 – The Brien Center for Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services announced today that it has been awarded twenty five thousand dollars from the Walmart Foundation for youth substance abuse education and prevention services. The Agency works closely with local school systems throughout the county to support youth with education/prevention programs along with counseling services.

“This grant will enable us to expand the delivery of services to youth in our community,” said Christine Macbeth, President and CEO of the Brien Center. “Given the seriousness of the current opioid epidemic in Massachusetts, treatment is often the focus. This generous gift from the Walmart Foundation allows us to work on the preventative measures that will reduce the number of youth and young adults falling into substance dependency. The best way to prevent a future addict is early intervention. We sincerely appreciate our close ties with Walmart in our community and the fact that local Walmart manager, Beth Barbarotta, in particular, advocated for the Brien Center to receive the award”.

The grant will specifically fund increased staffing for the Brien Center’s Patrick Miller Youth Substance Abuse Program. The program includes a number of projects that support youth substance use treatment and prevention including school-based prevention programs, school-based counseling, parent education programs, and community education.

“Currently we serve over 4,000 children and youth at the Brien Center,” said James Mucia, LICSW, Division Director of Child and Adolescent Services. “As addiction problems continue to increase, this grant will allow our staff to be prepared for working with youth and their families to overcome addiction issues. We will also be able to work with schools, communities, and families to tackle the issue of substance abuse before it becomes a problem.

The Patrick Miller Youth Substance Abuse Program is a recognized community-based program which provides education, prevention, intervention, screening and referral to outpatient services to address substance use and abuse among Berkshire County youth. For youth with substance use disorders, The Brien Center’s treatment team provides comprehensive assessment, individual and group counseling, and intensive addiction treatment. Staff includes a psychiatrist and licensed counselors who are trained in both mental health and addiction treatment, with a specialty in adolescents. The program has had demonstrated success in reducing adolescent substance use.

Originally founded by B. John and Rosaleen Miller of Pittsfield, the Patrick Miller Youth Substance Abuse Program was created in memory of their son, Patrick, who died of an accidental overdose, after a long struggle with addiction.

ABOUT THE BRIEN CENTER

The Brien Center is a community-based, non-profit agency providing behavioral health services throughout Berkshire County. As the county’s largest provider of services, The Brien Center serves about 10,000 children, teens, and adults each year.