Whittier Street Health Center to Host May 17th National Mental Health Awareness Event

  • May 15, 2023




CONTACT: Nicole Joy Hales, PRfirst, 617-947-7983,


Whittier Street Health Center to Host May 17th National Mental Health Awareness Event

BOSTON, MA, ISSUED MAY 15, 2023…Whittier Street Health Center, a community health center with a mission to serve as a center of excellence that provides high quality and accessible health care and social services that achieve health equity, social justice, and the economic well-being of a diverse patient population, will hold a special event on May 17th in observation of Mental Health Awareness Month.

Scheduled from 12 noon to 2:00 p.m. at the Frederica M. Williams Building, 1290 Tremont Street in Roxbury, this year’s event theme is “Look Around and Look Within: Addressing Anxiety, Loneliness and Isolation.” The event will include lunch.

The program, in part, will address the recent announcement by U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy that this country is dealing with a post-COVID public health epidemic  – loneliness and isolation.

In a recently released 85-page advisory Dr. Murthy is quoted as saying that “our epidemic of loneliness and isolation has been an underappreciated health crisis that has harmed individual and societal health.” The U.S. Surgeon General further states “our relationships are a source of healing and well-being” and “that we must prioritize building social connection the same way we have prioritized other critical public health issues, such as tobacco, obesity, and substance abuse disorders.”

The report tracks a decline in social connections, particularly among young people, and indicates that half of adults in this country suffer from loneliness.

“We encourage all whose lives – or the lives of loved ones – has been impacted by loneliness, feelings of isolation, depression, and other mental health issues to join us on the 17th for information, conversation, and support,” said Frederica M. Williams, president and CEO of Whittier Street Health Center.

“May has been designated as Mental Health Awareness Month since 1949 and while the stigma surrounding mental health and its treatment has thankfully changed for the better over the past seven decades, people still often hesitate to talk about or seek help for related issues – this despite significant advances in the care and treatment of those living with mental health concerns,” said Christine Pajarillo, vice president of programs and social services with Whittier Street Health Center. “We are committed year-round to providing the counseling, treatment, and support of our patients who are experiencing mental health issues or are concerned about loved ones who need related help.”

Whittier Street Health Center has long recognized the need for accessible and confidential counseling and treatment for those suffering with mental illness. Its Behavioral Health Department, comprised of psychiatrists, psychologists, nurse practitioners, social workers, licensed mental health counselors, and a high risk manager offer individual, family, couple, group counseling, and medication management services for all ages. Treatment is available for a wide range of mental health issues, including depression, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and stress related problems.


About Whittier Street Health Center

Whittier Street Health Center is an independently licensed community health care center with a mission of providing high quality, reliable and accessible primary healthcare for diverse populations while promoting wellness and eliminating health and social disparities. A champion of equitable access to high quality, patient-focused care, social justice and economic equity, Whittier Street Health Center is accredited by The Joint Commission (TJC), certified by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) as a Patient-Centered Medical Home, and recognized by the NCQA for its Behavioral Health Integration. Through its locations in Roxbury and North Dorchester, and its Mobile Health Van program, Whittier Street Health Center serves more than 30,000 patients and 20,000 community outreach visits annually; its ethnically and racially diverse patient base is primarily made up of individuals from Roxbury, Dorchester, Jamaica Plain, the South End and greater Boston. Approximately 28% of Whittier’s patients are uninsured. Whittier Street Health Center provides a comprehensive array of 40 healthcare programs and services designed to meet the primary health care, behavioral health, and social needs of the community. For more information, please visit as well as Facebook (, Twitter (@Whittier_Boston), or LinkedIn (, or call 617-989-3221.

A note about Whittier and COVID-19

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak in our area, we ask all clients and patients to call ahead before coming to any of our sites. We are working to take care of most clients/patients via phone/video encounter so we can meet your ongoing healthcare needs. This is for your safety and so we can provide the highest quality of care to you while following CDC guidance for COVID-19. Please call 617-427-1000 for any questions or concerns.

Whittier will provide COVID-19 testing from 10 am to 4 pm on Monday to Friday. Following CDC guidance, we recommend testing if you have a fever AND one of the following three symptoms: cough OR shortness of breath OR sore throat. Please bring your picture identification and your insurance card (if you have insurance).