(Editor's Note: this content
was provided by the office of Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan.)
WOBURN – Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan has announced that the Mental Health Association of Greater Lowell was named the 2016 recipient of the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office’s September 11thAward for their commitment to offering trauma services to children who witness an opioid overdose by a parent or loved one as part of Project C.A.R.E. (Child Assessment and Response Evaluation).
“This award recognizes the incredible work that the Mental Health Association of Greater Lowell is doing to help make a difference in the lives of children, some of the most vulnerable victims of the opioid epidemic,” said District Attorney Ryan. “Without hesitation, the Mental Health Association stepped in to assist in creating Project C.A.R.E. Their tireless efforts and dedication to ameliorating the trauma experienced by children who witness a loved one or parent overdose embodies the spirit of this award.”
Executive Director of the Mental Health Association Daniel Nakamoto added, “The Mental Health Association of Greater Lowell is honored to have been selected by District Attorney Ryan for theirSeptember 11th Award. District Attorney Ryan recognized very early that there were some victims of the opioid epidemic that were particularly innocent and vulnerable, and developed the public private partnership between the District Attorney's office, the Lowell Police Department, Trinity Emergency Medical Services, and MHA that we now know as Project C.A.R.E. We are proud of our contribution to this important project and appreciate the recognition of our efforts with this award.”
This award is presented to one or more first responders or investigators for demonstrating extraordinary courage, bravery and/or selflessness in a way that reminds us of the first who responded to the World Trade Center on September 11th, 2001.
Launched in March of 2016, Project C.A.R.E. is a first-of-its-kind partnership between the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office, the Lowell Police Department and the Mental Health Association of Greater Lowell to provide a 24-hour, 7-day-a-week rapid response intervention program for children who witness a parent or loved one suffer an overdose. The goal is to help these children cope with trauma, build resiliency and decrease the likelihood that substance misuse will be transferred from one generation to the next.