Community Engagement

The Austen Riggs Center, through the Erikson Institute, is involved in local community partnerships, professional education, organizational consultation, and community outreach endeavors. Most of our new strategic initiatives have community engagement as an aspect of their work. We strive to actively participate in our local community in order to build a better environment in which to develop, grow, play, and work. For example: 

-- Our dedicated community outreach efforts foster inter-institutional relationships with local mental health organizations, schools, community coalitions, and other agencies in Berkshire County, coordinating opportunities for institutional collaboration. Examples include partnerships with local community mental health providers (Brien Center, ServiceNet, and others), National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI), Berkshire Coalition for Suicide Prevention, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention — Western Massachusetts Chapter, South Berkshire Community Health Coalition, Northern Berkshire Community Coalition, and the Mental Health Legislative Forum. For more information, please contact Lee Watroba, community outreach manager.

-- Strategic initiatives with education and outreach components:

---Clinical Systems: Providing psychotherapy supervision to local community mental health providers. 

---Biopsychosocial Advocacy: Working to improve access to care at the legislative level and through education about the parity law. 

---Human Development: Partnering with local physicians and hospitals to implement the Newborn Behavioral Observations System, fostering early parent/infant learning. 

---Suicide Research and Education: Consulting to, and providing educational programs for, local clinicians and organizations about suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention.

-- Organizational Consultation: Many of our staff are trained in organizational and group consultation and are available to consult to local not-for-profit organizations around leadership and group processes.   We also offer community forums to bring local citizens together for conversation when significant events in our local community occur. For more information or to request a consultation, please contact Donna Elmendorf, PhD, director of the Therapeutic Community Program.

-- Professional Education: Through our conferences, workshops, and presentations we strive to provide high-quality continuing medical education to local clinicians and beyond. Scholarships and tuition assistance is often available to those in need. For more information, please contact Lee Watroba or Kathleen Young.