Free Counseling and Support Services

Those experiencing lingering depression, anxiety, or other psychological effects from last week's bombing attack can get free counseling this week at various clinics throughout Boston. Take this free, anonymous, online screening test provided by Mass 211 to see how you're faring and check out this list of support services if you think you need help coping.

1) The Boston Public Health Commission has a new drop-in center with mental health counselors on-site to speak with anyone who needs to talk. Free counseling will be offered daily from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. through Friday of this week at the Boston Area Health Education Center, located at 729 Mass Ave.

2) Thrive Boston Counseling is offering free counseling sessions to victims of, and those experiencing trauma and grief caused by, recent events related to the Boston Marathon bombing. They are also working to develop a Trauma Counseling Group. For more information, contact their offices at 617.395.5806.

3) The Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center is offering drop-in hours over the next two weeks in its cafĂ© at 1 p.m. to 2 pm for community members to collectively or individually share with a counselor how they are feeling and processing the events over the last week. The Center is located at 100 Malcolm X Blvd, Roxbury Crossing.

4) The Mayor's Health Line (617.534.5050) will continue to provide free trauma counseling and support over the phone throughout the week, Monday through Friday from 9 am to 5 pm.

5) The Federal Bureau of Investigation also maintains a victim assistance call center, which operates 24 hours a day, at 1.800.331.0075.

6) The BAC's Student Assistance Program offers two things - free and confidential 24-hour help for all Personal Concerns and Issues by calling 800.756.3124, and their Work/Life Website - Get access to over 12,000 articles, videos, tip sheets, calculators, assessments and searchable provider directories. Topic areas include, but are not limited to, child care, parenting, elder care, higher education planning, career development, health/wellness, emotional well being, legal/financial resources, and pet care services.

7) Insurers Cigna and Aetna are offering free telephone consultations for the next week putting callers in touch with qualified clinicians. People with Cigna insurance should call the number located on their insurance card, while Aetna members and non-members can call 1.888.238.6232.

8) The BAC's student healthcare provider has kindly reached out to the BAC community offering support to those affected by the Boston Marathon tragedy. Anyone within the BAC community who feels they would benefit from emotional support during this time can reach out to Optum company’s toll-free help line number, 866.342.6892. Emotional support resources and information are also available online at Their phone lines will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for as long as necessary.