All-Stars after school program starting in Athol

  • Contributed PhotoClinical and Support Options in Athol.

For The Recorder
Thursday, February 22, 2018

ATHOL — Clinical and Support Options, Inc., a full service behavioral health agency centered in Northampton, with outpatient facilities Northampton, Athol, Greenfield, Springfield, Pittsfield and Gardner, has opened a new therapeutic after-school program in Athol at 250 South Main St.

Sandi Walters, associate vice-president for community and family programs for CSO, said the office opened last fall and is funded through the state’s Department of Mental Health for 10 years.

The All-Stars program offers therapeutic after-school programs to two separate age groups; 6- to 11-year olds, and 12- to 18-year-olds. The programs include life skills training with trips to the local Athol Area YMCA and, when the weather warms up, other outside activities.

Referrals for the All-Stars program come directly from the DMH, and families can apply for the program through the DMH.

Clinical and Support Options began its life as the Franklin County Mental Health Association, which was established in 1954 by 22 concerned citizens committed to providing for the mental health needs of the county.

Today, CSO employs more than 700 staffers and has an operating budget of about $34 million and offers a variety of services including adult and child psychiatry and psychotherapy, gang violence prevention and intervention, wellness programs, outreach to children and adolescents, crisis prevention, intervention and evaluation; vocational training for adults with mental illness, and many more such programs.