Brien Center Opening Peer Recovery Support Center in North Adams

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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The Brien Center has been awarded a new five-year contract from the state Bureau of Substance and Addiction Services for a peer recovery support center. 
 
Located at 37 Main St., the center will be an accessible hub for peer support and substance-use services as well as a support center for families affected by addiction. The center will support traditional and nontraditional pathways to recovery, while also providing hope and promoting wellness.
 
"The peer recovery support center will be operated by peers, largely on a volunteer basis, and will offer education, information, resources, social events, recreational activities and a variety of wellness groups,” said M. Christine Macbeth, president and CEO of the Brien Center. "It will provide its members and all those involved with the opportunity to build their own individual, social, and community support to help prevent relapse and promote long-term recovery from addiction."
 
The program will operate 50 hours a week to include weekdays, weeknights and weekends. Four full-time staff will be on site, including a program director, program coordinator, volunteer coordinator and a recovery coach.
 
Designed to accommodate up to 100 people at any given time, the center will include a large meeting room, living room area, two offices, kitchen and restrooms.
 
"This center will add substantially to our continuum of care in the North County area,
supporting the important work being done through our outpatient substance use disorder services at 124 American Legion Drive and at Keenan House North, our recovery home in North Adams," Macbeth said. 
 
The new program is expected to launch this fall. The City Council was given a presentation on the center last week. 
 
"The Brien Center wishes to thank The HEALing Communities Study for their support and advocacy," said Paul Hickling, senior vice president of service operations at the Brien Center. "This entity is a multiyear study under a cooperative agreement supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, part of the National Institutes of Health. Both North Adams and Pittsfield were selected for this program, due to the crisis level of opioids in our communities. Over 20 coalition partners have come together to provide 'boots on the ground' solutions to combating substance use disorder.”
 
North Adams and Pittsfield are among more than a dozen communities in the commonwealth participating in a yearlong study, a program of the National Institutes of Health's Helping to End Addiction Long-term Initiative. North Adams received a grant of $500,000 of which $200,000 has been spent on providing naloxone boxes to organizations and at various points in the city to prevent overdoses. The balance will support the new peer recovery center. 

Tags: addiction recovery,   substance abuse,   

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MountainOne Marks 175 Years Since Founding

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff

Board Chairman Daniel Bosley calls the meeting to order.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — MountainOne ended a successful 175th anniversary year approaching $1 billion in assets and a future that looks to be "busy."
 
"So with all this you might say we're busy, except for MountainOne, we're not allowed to say we're busy. You've got to work, you're supposed to be busy, right?" said President and CEO Robet Fraser after ticking off a list of positives. "So we're not busy. We're fulfilled, and this year is going to be incredibly fulfilling."
 
The banking institution held its demisemiseptcentennial, or maybe it was a septaquintaquinquecentennial, business meeting on Wednesday night. Whatever the preferred Latin is for 175 years, MountainOne was marking a significant milestone with more than 120 guests and bank members at Norad Mill and another grouping at the Weathervane Golf Course in Weymouth. 
 
Fraser, speaking via livestream from the South Shore, joked that "we have this unique business model where we give you the money — but you have to give it back."
 
That's been the standard since April 1848 when Isaac Hodges, Thomas Robinson and William Brayton founded the North Adams Savings Bank on Main Street. 
 
The first merger occurred in 1962 between North Adams Savings and Hoosac Savings banks, later becoming simply Hoosac Bank in 1998; Hoosac acquired True North Financial and Coakley, Pierpan, Dolan & Collins Insurance a year later; in 2002, MountainOne Financial Partners is formed as holding company for Hoosac and Williamstown Savings and MountainOne begins its South Shore adventure with the merger of South Coastal Bank; a year later, all three banks change their names to MountainOne. The investment and insurance arms also come under the MountainOne moniker and the newest affiliate, a Longmeadow insurance agency, was acquired in February.
 
"When I think about MountainOne, I think of one organization that was comprised of three different banks, two insurance agencies and investment division," said Fraser. "And we've been able to come together and be incredibly successful working with each other. 
 
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