By Dot Bergin

A once-empty office building at 205 Burlington road (Rt. 62) has been transformed into a dynamic center caring for the needs of persons with mental health conditions, co-occurring substance use conditions, and/or developmental disabilities or brain injuries.

A Ribbon Cutting ceremony for The Edinburg Center will take place on Friday, March 24 at 11:15 pm, with State Representative Ken Gordon and other dignitaries on hand to do the honors.  The Bedford community is invited to an open house from 11 to 1 pm on that day, to tour the Center, learn about the Center’s wide range of services, and enjoy light refreshments.

The Edinburg Center is named in honor of Golda Edinburg, whose life work of more than five decades revolutionized the treatment of people in Massachusetts with mental health conditions.  With a budget of less than $500,000, the Center was established in 1977 as a private, non-profit 501(c) (3) corporation.  Since then it has grown into a thriving organization with major sites in Waltham and now in Bedford. Its geographic outreach spans some 20 communities west and north of Boston.  The Center offers a continuum of community-based services, including community outreach support services, residential supports, short term respite care, day treatment programs, outpatient counseling, employment services, and medication services, to name a few. Underlying all the Center’s work is the belief “that all individuals have the potential to learn, the capacity for change, and the right to live a meaningful life in the community of his/her choice.”

CEO Ellen Attaliades, who has been with the Center since 1981, explained to The Citizen that the new facility in Bedford came about because their former location, in two separate buildings in Lexington, did not provide the kind of interaction needed among staff. “Now we are all together,” she said as she and Director of Development Gail Rogers gave a visitor a pre-open house tour to see the Center in action – and it was humming with activity.

The L-shaped, one-story facility has been completely refurbished, with colorful walls, artwork, and spacious windows letting in the light.  Attaliades said, “We’ve been working on this for two years.” Move-in date was January of this year. She and Rogers are eager to show their new home to Bedford residents on the 24th.

The executive offices of the Center are here, along with space for Children’s Services, consultation rooms, an exercise room, a café, rooms for small groups of clients to enjoy socializing with each other, and-a highlight-a completely equipped restaurant style kitchen where clients can learn cooking and other aspects of the food service industry. The Center has its own Medical Director with an office on-site.

Some 150 staff members are working in the Center; others of the total staff (roughly 300) are out in the community, providing outreach services to individuals and families.

To learn more about the Center, visit: www.edinburgcenter.org. Be sure to click on the “Videos” tab for some short vignettes that show the ways in which the Center can make a difference in a person’s life.

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