Main menu


MetroWest agencies are accredited with an inspiring county dining center

featured image

Several MetroWest agencies are playing central roles in the creation of the Middlesex County Restoration Center, a facility slated to open next year that supporters say aims to divert people with mental health and addictions from incarceration and unnecessary hospitalization.

Danna Mauch, co-chair of the dining center commission, said MetroWest influenced much of the center’s development. She cited the MetroWest Health Foundation, Defenders and the Framingham Police Department as resources in its development.

“The inspiration that we took for this work really came from the work that was developed in MetroWest and inspired a lot of other activity around the state to provide diversion from arrest and incarceration and diversion crisis,” said Mauch, who is also president and CEO of the Massachusetts Association for Mental Health.

Bonnie Cuccaro, left, of Advocates Inc., is the day intervention co-clinician for the Framingham Police Department.  She is shown on horseback with Framingham Police Sergeant.  Brian Curtis speaking with Andrew Lacey (not pictured), a Superintendent of An Garda Siochana, the Irish National Police.

MetroWest police departments were “early adopters” of crisis intervention in politics, Mauch said, particularly Framingham, which implemented the Jail Diversion program in 2003. The program instituted a model of co-responder, in which trained behavioral health clinicians travel with agents and respond to emergency calls.

Martin Cohen, President and CEO of MetroWest Health Foundationwhich helped fund the program and start the conversation between police and behavioral health officials, called MetroWest a “pioneering region.”