Larry is the Co-Founder of Riverside Trauma Center. He has provided direct therapeutic services for over 30 years and managed mental health services for over 25 years. His clinical areas of expertise include work with children, adolescents, adults, and families who are trauma survivors and/or suicide survivors. He coordinates and provides disaster response services and post-suicide intervention for individuals, schools, workplaces, and communities, and conducts trainings on suicide prevention. Larry holds a doctoral degree in Counseling and Consulting Psychology from Harvard University and is a licensed Psychologist in Massachusetts. He is on the Executive Committee of the Massachusetts Coalition for Suicide Prevention, serves as the Co-Chair of the Northeast Massachusetts Coalition for Suicide Prevention, and holds an appointment as a Teaching Associate in Psychology, Part Time, at Harvard Medical School’s Department of Psychiatry.
Jim is the Co-Founder and Associate Director of the Riverside Trauma Center. Jim provides mental health support for schools, workplaces, and communities affected by traumatic events. He has consulted with numerous schools and communities in Massachusetts and New England on trauma responses. He provides consultations and trainings on suicide postvention services, suicide clusters, and suicide prevention coalitions. He has presented at statewide, national, and international conferences on these topics. He also has extensive experience providing therapy to children, adolescents, and adults and previously managed outpatient mental health clinics and programs for children for more than 20 years. Jim is a graduate of the Boston University School of Social Work and also was a Senior Lecturer in the Sociology Department at Suffolk University for more than 30 years. An Army veteran, he has a special interest in developing and providing services for returning vets.
Languages: English, American Sign Language
Joanna is the Clinical Director for Riverside Trauma Center where she responds to community disasters and provides training on trauma, resilience, trauma-informed care, and suicide prevention and postvention.
She has worked with youth, families, adults, and communities that have experienced traumas in a wide range of settings in the U.S. and abroad for more than 20 years. Joanna has an MSW from the University of Michigan with a concentration in Health, and a Certificate in Traumatic Stress Studies from the Trauma Center at JRI. She has training in a range of trauma and loss specific therapeutic modalities.
Languages: English, Spanish
MassMen Program Coordinator
Kathryn is a skilled human services professional with six years of experience in the field. She is the Program Coordinator for The MassMen Project, a suicide prevention program designed to promote wellness in high-risk industries, including public safety, building trades, fishing, and others. She previously worked as a clinical liaison to police personnel by accompanying first-responding officers to emergency situations, provided counseling and psycho-educational services to state inmates, and completed a fellowship at the Office of the Governor. Kathryn is trained in individual and group crisis intervention and trauma-informed care and holds a Master’s Degree in Forensic Psychology.
Director of Trauma Center Operations
A clinical social worker with over 13 years of experience, Meritt Kelsey has been with Riverside Community Care since 2014, focusing on community-based program management, supporting diverse communities, children, and families impacted by complex trauma. Most recently, Meritt worked with MindWise Innovations to expand service delivery opportunities and help businesses address their internal behavioral health needs. Meritt spent her early career as Program Director of The Bridge Project, a pioneering non-profit serving newly resettled Somali refugees living in Denver public housing, where she served as a member of an FBI-led task force on forced marriage.
Suicide Prevention Specialist
Sarah Gaer began working in human services in 1998 and has experience in substance abuse, mental illness, developmental disabilities, and forensics. Sarah has specialized in trauma treatment of veterans and women survivors of sexual abuse. As a member of the trauma response team, she has responded to natural disasters, homicides, suicides, and terrorism within the community. She was a Team Leader for the trauma team that responded to the June 1st tornado in western and central Massachusetts through a FEMA grant managed by Riverside. At Riverside Trauma Center her specific focus is on developing initiatives for suicide prevention related to middle-aged men, and she is an active member of the trauma response and community training teams. Sarah is a Master’s level clinician and graduate of Antioch New England University. She is trained in Psychological First Aid, Skills for Psychological Recovery, and has most recently been accepted as a Master Trainer for the QPR Institute.
Since 2004, Jenny has been providing individual and family therapy services in various outreach settings. She started working at Riverside Community Care in 2008 as a home-based family therapist for Riverside Alternative Youth Service – a town funded home-based family services program. Her position evolved as the program grew and she took on the role of intake coordinator and on-call supervisor. Jenny’s wide range of skills make her indispensable to Riverside Trauma Center as she develops and manages fiscal systems; implements methods to improve daily productivity, efficiency, and organization; and supports the work of our staff by assisting with trainings, screenings, research and resource development, and critical incident responses. Jenny has a Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling from Suffolk University.
Coordinator, Trauma and Loss Counseling service
Marlene has 17 years of experience as a trauma clinician working with children, teens, and families. She has provided therapy to survivors of sexual assault, bullying, terrorist attacks, suicide, and other traumatic loss. At Riverside Trauma Center, she conducts trainings on resilience, crisis management, and suicide prevention and postvention, and is a Trauma Responder providing support and consultation to schools, communities, and individuals after traumatic events. She is an EMDR International Association Approved Consultant and practitioner of EMDR therapy, and trained in Internal Family Systems (IFS), Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, and Trauma-Focused CBT. Her Social Work Master’s degree is from the National School of Social Service at the National Catholic University and her Master’s degree in Anthropology is from Northeastern University.
Waheeda has worked with adolescents and adults for over 10 years, providing therapy to survivors of abuse, sexual assault, and domestic violence. Prior to that, she served as a Guardian ad Litem for the Florida court system. She has been with Riverside Trauma Center since 2008, providing consultation after traumatic events, as well as conducting trainings on a range of issues regarding trauma and suicide. She served as a Team Leader in our FEMA-funded response to the tornados in central and western Massachusetts in 2011. Waheeda is trained specifically in trauma therapy modalities, including Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). She has a graduate degree in Mental Health Counseling from Boston College.
Languages: Urdu/Hindi, English
Tamiya serves as the Administrative Assistant for Riverside Trauma Center. As a graduate of Pine Manor College, Tamiya has a B.A in Communications. Her background includes experience as a Marketing Coordinator, Administrative Assistant and a Peer Educator. In addition to her Communications degree, Tamiya is also a licensed Cosmetologist and has over 10 years of experience as a Hairstylist. A cancer survivor, Tamiya believes in making every day count. Her courage and resilience along with her compassion for others, allows Tamiya to serve as an advocate for the mental health community. She describes herself as a fun-loving person with a wonderful sense of humor.
Senior Trauma Center Responder
Angelique Conto, LMHC is a Senior Trauma Responder for the Riverside Trauma Center. For over a decade, it has been Angelique’s honor to work with individuals, families, & other social service professionals as a clinician specializing in addiction education & treatment. As a trauma-informed licensed mental health clinician (LMHC), she has served neglected & oppressed communities from a lens of racial & social justice via consulting, counseling, program management, crisis intervention & interdisciplinary care. Angelique has also served as a Social Service Advocate for the Committee for Public Counsel Services collaborating with individuals impacted by justice system challenges & she currently works as a private social service vendor there as well. Most recently she worked at HRiA helping to manage three statewide addiction information & referral Helplines for the states of Massachusetts, Illinois, & Vermont. Now at the Riverside Trauma Center, she conducts trainings & is a Trauma Responder providing support & consultation to individuals, communities, & schools after traumatic events. Angelique received her graduate degree at the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology, now William James College, & her undergraduate degree from Northeastern University.
Photos of L. Berkowitz, J. McCauley, J. Bridger, S. Gaer, J. Huynh, M. Kenney, and W. Saif ©Ellen Schub 2014