Edinburg Center Celebrates 40th Anniversary with Open House



Edinburg Center CEO Ellen Attaliades cuts the ribbon to open the Center’s new headquarters on Burlington Road in Bedford. Legislators including State Representative Ken Gordon (D-Bedford) were present along with board members and other community leaders – Image (c) JMcCT, 2017 all rights reserved

By Dot Bergin

Representative Ken Gordon, State Senator Mike Barrett, Edinburg Center Board members, representatives from the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health, and Bedford town officials were among the dignitaries at the March 24 ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Edinburg Center on Burlington Road.

State Representative Ken Gordon (D-Bedford) and State Senator Michael Barrett (D-Lexington) (l-r) with Lynn Bishop who opened Bedford’s first Edinburg Center group home in 1999 and Sue Baldauf, Executive Director of Bedford Youth and Family Services – Image (c) JMcCT, 2017 all rights reserved.

CEO Ellen Attaliades wielded the scissors for the opening of the new building, saying the Center was very glad to be in the town of Bedford with its amenities.  She said they are delighted to be in the colorful, fully renovated one-story building at 205 Burlington road, which makes possible close collaboration and communication among staff and the Center’s clients.For more than 40 years, the Center has offered a wide array of services for both adults and children with mental health conditions and developmental disabilities.  It is named for the late Golda Edinburg, a psychiatric social worker who advocated throughout her long life for community mental health services in the Commonwealth.  Its service area encompasses Bedford and some 20 towns to the north and west.

Bedford already has strong connections with the Edinburg Center, which operates six residential programs in town.  In these programs, individuals with developmental disabilities live in supervised residences, with supports tailored to each one’s needs.  Persons in these settings receive training in self-help skills, money management, social competencies, and household responsibilities, with the goal of becoming contributing and participating members of the community.

Guests at the recent Open House toured the new facility and heard about some of the many other programs available through the Center.  Although many services are offered on-site, such as therapy sessions, life-skills and job training, along with pleasant spaces for socialization, about half of the Center’s staff spend their days out in the community, seeing clients in their own homes.  PACT (Program of Assertive Community Treatment) is an example of the team approach to providing long-term, community-based psychiatric treatment and support to persons with serious mental health conditions – all within the individuals’ own homes. This outreach approach allows clients to live independently in their communities. Currently, about 80 clients are served.

For children aged 21 and under with autism or other mental health diagnoses, The Center provides a range of services.  One such program is In-Home Behavioral Health Services, which offers support to children and youth with challenging behaviors that get in the way of daily life.  A behavioral health professional works with the child and family to create a behavior plan to improve the child’s functioning.  These services can be provided in the child’s home, school, childcare centers, or other community settings.

The Edinburg Center also runs the Charles Webster Potter Place Clubhouse in Waltham, a place for individuals with a mental health condition to come daily to receive vocational training and take part in social experiences.  Clubhouse members frequently find employment in the community, with the support and training they receive.

Primary funding for The Edinburg Center comes from the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health, the MA Department of Developmental Services, and the MA Division of Medical Assistance.  The Center also welcomes donations from individuals, foundations, businesses, and corporations.

Citizen readers who would like to learn more about the Edinburg Center’s services are invited to check the website: www.edinburgcenter.org or phone 781-862-3600


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