Tip Sheets and Journey Resources
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See the CDC’s Information about Alcohol Use During Pregnancy for information about the effects alcohol has during pregnancy.
The DPH Clearinghouse has free brochures and information about pregnancy and alcohol use that you can order or download and print.
The Safe Haven Act of Massachusetts is a law that allows a parent to legally surrender newborn infants seven days old or younger at a hospital, police station, or manned fire station without facing criminal prosecution.
A good place to start is the “You’ve Got What It Takes Breastfeeding Guide” from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. This guide has information and phone numbers for getting support.
The Massachusetts Women and Children program offers free Mother-to-Mother peer counselor support, as well as information, pregnancy and parenting groups, and help getting free breast pumps. Click on the Breastfeeding Coordinators link to find support in your town.
The Boston Association for Childbirth Education and Nursing Mothers’ Council offers free support, counseling, and breastfeeding groups all over Massachusetts. Visit their website to find resources in your town.
La Leche League offers one-on-one counseling services as well as monthly group meetings for pregnant or parenting women living in Vermont, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island who are looking for breastfeeding information and support. Click on Get Help or Find A Group for more information.”
The Massachusetts Breastfeeding Coalition has information and supportive resources, including a list of baby-friendly hospitals in Massachusetts where you can access good prenatal or postnatal care.
The Office of Women’s Health: It’s Only Natural is a website designed to help African American moms and their families understand the benefits of breastfeeding for baby and for mom! There are videos, tip sheets, expert advice, and personal stories from other women.
ZipMilk is a handy resource. Enter your zip code and the website will create a list of medical providers, counselors, and support groups in your area for pregnant and nursing mothers.
Mother’s Milk Bank Northeast provides donated, pasteurized human milk to babies in fragile health. Also bereaved and/or surrogate mothers can donate extra milk.
These online blogs and support groups are designed to encourage black women and other women of color who are breastfeeding:
The Boston Association for Childbirth Education and Nursing Mothers’ Council offers free support, counseling, and childbirth groups all over Massachusetts. Visit their website to find resources in your town.
This free interactive website out of California has information about how young children learn, along with tons of activities for you and your child to learn together.
The Child Development Institute has tons of information about how your child will grow and develop, and what ways you can support their growth.
Postpartum Support International offers the PenPal Network for Incarcerated Women who have been pregnant.
Victim Rights Law Center offers free legal assistance to sexual assault survivors who have legal needs as a result of assault. Assistance is provided in the following areas: privacy, safety, education (K-12 and college), employment, housing, immigration, and financial stability.
Family Justice Center at BPHC is for Boston families to explore options navigating the legal system and understand their or their children’s rights.
The Massachusetts Department of Children and Families has information to help you.
A Family’s Guide to Protective Services for Children which is available in several languages, helps you understand the process and your rights should you have to work with Child Protective Services.
Parents Helping Parents is a group of parents from around Massachusetts who support one other. They offer free support groups and they host a free, private 24/7 parental stress help line at 1-800-632-8188. They also have a guide titled You Are Not Alone: An Empowering Guide for Parents Whose Children are in DCF Foster Care that is written by parents, for parents, and available for free download in English and Spanish.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health offers information on recognizing and treating postpartum depression.
Postpartum Support International (PSI) runs a toll-free hotline and a free chat line, and provides peer support, information, and resources for women dealing with a range of emotional concerns, such as sadness, anxiety, sleeplessness, worry, or mental health concerns. All services are free, private, and nonjudgmental.
Jane Doe Inc., the Massachusetts Coalition Against Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence can help find safety, support, and healing. Information and services are available in many languages.
Womenshealth.gov has information on all types of intimate partner abuse, including emotional control, manipulation, and dating violence. Looking at their list of signs of abuse is a good place to start.
National Human Trafficking Hotline ((888) 373-7888 or text to “befree” to 233733)is a 24/7 confidential Hotline for anyone who has been sexually exploited. People may call for information, support, and resources.
The National Domestic Violence Hotline (800) 799-SAFE (7233) provides confidential, one-on-one support to each caller who is affected by domestic violence by offering crisis intervention, options for next steps and direct connection to sources for immediate safety.
A doula is an emotional support person who helps women through the birth process. Insurance providers often pay for the services of a doula. The DONA International website has more information about doula services, as well as a list of doulas in Massachusetts. Ask your insurance provider or birthing hospital if you would like to connect to this service.
DPH offers free Early Intervention (EI) services to eligible families across Massachusetts. This website has lots of information, and there is an Early Intervention Parent Leadership Project web page with even more information about EI, including videos and family stories.
Family Ties of Massachusetts provides a list of early intervention resources organized by city and town.
Massachusetts offers Home Visiting services in 17 communities across the state. More information and enrollment help can be found at the Massachusetts Home Visiting Initiative website.
Catholic Charities Healthy Families provides free weekly home-visiting program for first-time pregnant and/or parenting young parents for the first 6 months of baby’s life and then adjust to meet family’s needs until the child turns three.
Massachusetts has support groups, resource centers, and information for grandparents and others providing kinship care for children. Learn to Cope offers education, resources, peer support, and hope for parents and family members coping with a loved one’s addiction to opiates or other drugs. There are Learn to Cope support meetings across the state of Massachusetts.
NAMI (or, the National Alliance on Mental Illness) is an organization with a Massachusetts chapter to support families of individuals with mental illness. They also provide information and resources for family members of people with substance use disorders.
This tip sheet from the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Grandparents Raising Grandchildren gives guidance on talking to children about their parent’s use of drugs or alcohol.
Alcohol and Drug Addiction happens in the best of families … and it hurts – informational handout from NCADD.https://ncadd.org/images/stories/PDF/alcoholanddrugaddictionhappensinthebestoffamilies.pdf
Information on teen drinking and how to talk to your teen about alcohol.https://massclearinghouse.ehs.state.ma.us/PROG-BSAS-YTH/SA1011kit.html
Aimed at parents of 3rd – 5th graders, this free booklet from DPH includes information and tips on how to protect children from alcohol or other drug use in the future.https://massclearinghouse.ehs.state.ma.us/PROG-BSAS-YTH/SA1021.html
The Fatherhood Project has videos, tips, and support groups for fathers going through divorce, fathers in recovery, and fathers who want to learn to advocate for their partners in medical settings.
Parenting Journey has a group specifically for fathers.https://parentingjourney.org/parents/parenting-journey-for-fathers/
Sage house is a residential program for parenting fathers and couples.
Children’s Trust MA’s Fatherhood Initiative works to advance activities and trainings that support fathers, their families, and the professionals who work with them: The Fathers & Family Network is a statewide networking and training group for professionals who work with fathers. The Nurturing Fathers Program helps fathers build and strengthen positive parenting attitudes and behaviors.
Hazelden has information on how to be a great sober dad.https://www.hazeldenbettyford.org/articles/sober-dad/how-to-be-good-father-recovery
SAMHSA has a fatherhood page with resources, information, a blog, and trends.https://www.fatherhood.gov/content/substance-abuse
Best Start has a free downloadable guide for engaging fathers in programs for families.
MassFAS is an organization and task force in Massachusetts working to get services for children and adults who have symptoms of prenatal alcohol exposure. They invite parents of children with any Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) to attend their meetings. Contact information is on their website.
Recovering Hope is a video about mothers and families of children affected by fetal alcohol spectrum disorders. The video, created for women in recovery and their counselors, is divided into two half-hour episodes and focuses on hope, not shame.
The Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Grandparents Raising Grandchildren has many great resources including tip sheets, legal resources, financial resources, and a geographically organized list of support groups for grandparents raising grandchildren.
Family caregiver support program has services for grandparents caring for grandchildren.
Grief Recovery After Substance Passing (GRASP) offers support groups across the US and Canada in person and online for those who lost a loved one to a substance related passing.http://grasphelp.org/
GRASP Facebook online support group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/grasphelp/
The Children’s Room in Arlington offers grief support groups for children and teens, family nights, and a group “parenting while grieving”: https://childrensroom.org/
The National Alliance for Grieving Children has a list of grief groups and programs for children in Massachusetts: https://childrengrieve.org/find-support/9-find-support/27-programs-in-massachusetts
Empty Arms serves families in Western Massachusetts whose babies have died through miscarriage, stillbirth, or early infant death.
Grieving Dads provides resources specific to fathers who have lost a child.
Grieve Out Loud is a care program for families touched by pregnancy loss and/or infant loss.
Mommy Interrupted has resources and peer-to-peer support for pregnancy loss.
Pregnancy After Loss Support (PALS) is a community support resource helping expectant mothers celebrate their current pregnancy while still honoring the grief over the loss of their deceased child. Here is a link to their Facebook page.
Still Mothers provides support and resources for families who have experienced the loss of a child.
Learn about marijuana in Massachusetts – what is legal and how marijuana can affect your body, mind, and health. https://www.mass.gov/learn-about-marijuana
Marijuana can affect the health of your baby. Just like with alcohol, it’s not recommended if you are pregnant, caring for an infant, or planning to get pregnant soon. https://www.mass.gov/info-details/marijuana-and-pregnancy-and-breastfeeding
The Free guide 10 Questions to ask yourself before you use marijuana, discusses some of the effects of marijuana use on adult health, and includes information on pregnancy and breast feeding.
Mother to Baby offers information about marijuana as well as a hotline where you can ask questions about medications and substance use during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
The Buprenorphine Treatment Practitioner Locator provides a list of the waivered buprenorphine providers in your state
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Treating for Two toolkit has information, videos, free posters, and guidelines for medication use during pregnancy and parenting.
MothertoBaby is a free resource for anyone to find out more about which medications are safe to take during pregnancy or breastfeeding. They have fact sheets as well as phone and online support lines.
Massachusetts Child Psychiatry Access Program (MCPAP) for Moms is a resource that you can tell your doctor about. They help prescribers (anyone who writes a prescription for you) determine which medications are safe for women to take while pregnant or breastfeeding.
The Office of Women’s Health has a great tip page with handy reminders about food, medication, and other activities that are important for pregnancy.
SAMHSA’s Decisions in Recovery: Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder is an online tool to help you decide which medications are right for you and how to find providers in your area. The site has a lot of information, including stories and videos of people with lived experience.
INTERFACE Referral Service at William James College is a mental healthcare referral service. They also have a free, confidential phone line (888-244-6843) that is open Monday–Friday from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. They can connect you to a therapist or other provider in your area.
Sober Mommies is a website just for women who are parenting and in recovery from substance use disorder. There is a place to share your story, read the stories of other moms, join a local support group, or find information or support on a range of topics. Our Journey Guide, Julie, created the Sober Mommies organization. Please let her know that you found Sober Mommies because of her work on the Journey Project!
The Bloom Foundation offers in-person and online peer supports and programs to address maternal mental health needs.
This crib card reminds people to stay quiet and calm around your baby. Print out as many as you would like!
The March of Dimes Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU) Web page explains everything about the NICU and what to do if your baby must stay. There is information about breastfeeding, working with hospital staff, dealing with stress, visitation, and bonding
This YouTube video from Texas, Journeys of Hope, is a beautiful movie of women telling their stories of drug use, pregnancy, recovery, and parenting.
This YouTube video, Stronger Together, also from Texas, gives great tips for helping your infant recover from NAS.
After around six months of age—if advised by your baby’s doctor—you can begin giving your baby food.
Women, Infants and Children (WIC) provides healthy foods, nutrition education, breastfeeding support, and referrals to healthcare and other services, free of charge, to Massachusetts families who qualify.
HealthyChildren.org sponsored by the American Academy of Pediatrics, explains feeding including formula, breastmilk, and solid foods.
The Wholesome Baby Food site has recipes, information, and a helpful chart that maps out when your baby will be ready to try certain solid foods.
Digital Stories: Stories from Real Parents has videos from parents sharing their experiences and tips.
Healthychildren.org has information on every stage of parenting, from pregnancy to babies to teenagers and young adults.
The DPH Clearinghouse has free resources and materials on parenting and child development that you can order or download and print.
Massachusetts Family Resource Centers (FRCs) are a statewide network of community-based providers offering multi-cultural parenting programs, support groups, early childhood services, information and referral resources and education for families whose children range in age from birth to 18 years of age.
Massachusetts’ Pregnancy, Infancy and Early Childhood division offers free resources and information about many topics, including maternal health, safe sleep, and home visiting programs.
One Tough Job is a resource that connects parents across Massachusetts with the latest parenting information and resources. They also connect parents with one another for support.
Parents Helping Parents is a group of parents from around Massachusetts, who support one other, offering free support groups and hosting a free, private 24/7 parental stress help line at 1-800-632-8188.
Parent/Professional Advocacy League provides support groups, advocacy and other resources for families with children and adolescents with mental health needs.
The Parental Stress Line 1-(800)-632-8188 provides 24/7 hotline services for parents and guardians with any problems related to their children. Trained, non-judgmental, volunteer counselors offer ways to relieve stress and support in a sympathetic environment.
The Text 4 Baby App has handy tools, such as tracking your baby’s growth, scheduling appointments, and sending text reminders. This app is best for pregnancy through infancy (up to one year old).
The Institute for Health and Recovery has a landing page with all the information you will need to learn about and create a plan of safe care or family support plan.
There is an interactive Resource Search map created by the Institute of Health and Recovery to help pregnant and parenting women find supportive services.
When you find out you are pregnant, the first thing to do is find a birthing hospital and a doctor who you like and trust. Here is a list of hospitals in Massachusetts that may be able to help you.
The CDC has an information page about reproductive health, including information about sudden infant death, depression, teen pregnancy, and birth complications.
Healthychildren.org’s pregnancy page has information about nutrition, activity, and getting ready for baby.
Massachusetts offers guidelines for when drug testing of mothers and infants should occur, however, each hospital has different protocols. Ask your birthing hospital for its rules.
Planned Parenthood provides pregnancy testing and services; STD Testing, Treatment, and Vaccines; HIV Services; and Women’s Services at many locations across the country. Look for a location near you using the Planned Parenthood find a center tool.
For information about free or low-cost prenatal care in your area, call 1-800-311-BABY (1-800-311-2229) to speak with a local health department. For information about finding prenatal care in Spanish, call 1-800-504-7081.
Careers of Substance helps people who are in long-term recovery or those who want to work in the recovery field find education and job opportunities. There are lots of training opportunities and job postings on this website.
The Massachusetts Organization for Addiction Recovery (MOAR) is a group dedicated to advocating for people in recovery and educating the public about recovery. They have meetings across the state.
Recovery Coaches are peer advocates, mentors, and role models that can support your journey to long-term recovery. They are available across the state and insurance often covers them. Visit the helpline site to find a Recovery Coach service near you.
Recovery Support Centers are located across Massachusetts. They offer information, support groups, connections to resources, and a feeling of community. They are run by and for people in long-term recovery.
Massachusetts Safe Sleep Initiative teaches parents and other caregivers how to put a baby to sleep safely. There are also information booklets and other free resources.
The Middlesex Children’s Advocacy Center has information about infant and child safety, including safe sleep, water safety, car safety and more.
Cribs for Kids can help families get a free safe sleep crib.
Massachusetts Maternal and Child Health information and referral line, 1-800-311-BABY, has safe sleep information and more.
The Massachusetts Human Trafficking Hotline is a free, confidential support line for anyone engaging in sex work—or other types of forced labor—looking for a way out. The hotline number is 1-888-373-7888 (TTY: 711)
My Life My Choice supports youth survivors of sex trafficking in rebuilding their lives. This organization provides mentors, prevention education, leadership skills and intensive case management.
Polaris is a national organization working to end human trafficking and forced sex work. Text “BeFree” (233733) if you need help now.
The Massachusetts Coalition to End Human Trafficking (MCEHT) has a list of local organizations that offer support and services to people engaged in forced sex work.
The AIDS Action Committee has offices across the state where you can get tested for HIV and hepatitis C and receive resources and support.
The Addiction Technology Transfer Center Network (ATTC) has a special page just for pregnant and parenting women. There are short “webinettes” (online learning videos) with information about many different topics, including alcohol, and methadone.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has information about the effects of substances on the brain and body, as well as pathways of recovery.
The Recovery Research Institute has helpful information on its website. It explains addiction and recovery and describes research and science in an easy-to-understand way. If you want to help someone in your life understand addiction or recovery, you might want to send them to this site.
SAMHSA has a Decision Making Resource that explains opioid addiction, and helps people figure out what kind of treatment is right for them. There are also resources and tips for getting started in recovery. All information on this site is free and private.
See the CDC’s information about smoking during pregnancy for information about how smoking affects pregnancy and about how to quit smoking while pregnant.
The Massachusetts Make Smoking History site has information for youth and adults on how to reduce or quit smoking and other tobacco products. There are videos, a confidential helpline, and advice for how to get free medications to help you quit.
The Massachusetts Smokers’ Helpline offers free counseling and resources to help you reduce or quit smoking: 1-800-QUIT-NOW, 1-800-8-DŽJALO (Espanol), 1-800-784-8669 (other languages), or 1-888-229-2182 (TTY)
The Massachusetts Tobacco Cessation and Prevention Program (MTCP) has resources and information for Massachusetts residents looking to cut back or end tobacco use as well as support for family members and friends.
Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous are free, peer-led support programs that are widely available across Massachusetts. They are not right for everyone, but it can be helpful to talk to other people in long-term recovery and see if that program is right for you. You can find times and locations of meetings on their websites, as well as phone numbers for people who can offer information, rides, and support.
The Institute for Health and Recovery (IHR) hosts a free, confidential treatment access line, offering counseling and priority access to treatment for all pregnant women with substance use concerns. IHR can connect women with residential treatment options where they can stay with their children. Call 1-866-472-1897 or (TTY) 617-661-9051.
The DPH Substance Use Helpline has a treatment search that makes it easy to find treatment centers and programs anywhere in the state. There is also information for partners, family, and friends. You can call them at 1-800-327-5050.
Enter your ZIP code to find substance use disorder and mental health treatment providers near you by using SAMHSA’s Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator.
The Visiting Moms project offers free support visits from volunteers in Central Mass, Greater Boston, North Shore, and the Southeast. Visit their website for more information!
Resources by region
The Boston Area Rape Crisis Center (BARCC) provides a 24/7 hotline 1800-841-8371 and awebchat between 9:00am and 11:00pm for survivors of sexual violence. BARCC has offices located in Cambridge, Boston, and Waltham and provides hospital advocacy, legal advocacy,counseling, support groups, and case management for survivors in addition to the hotline and webchat.
Boston Emergency Service Team (BEST Team) (617) 414-8300 or Toll Free (800) 981-4357 provides Information, referrals, and in-person crisis intervention for psychiatric emergencies for children, adolescents, and adults.
Birth Sisters at Boston Medical Center is an innovative, multicultural doula service offering women sister-like support during pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum. Birth Sisters offer prenatal home visits, labor support, and help at home after baby comes. By “mothering the mother,” Birth Sisters play an important role in empowering women, their children, and communities. For more information on the Birth Sisters Program, contact Dona Rodrigues, CNM, at Dona.Rodrigues@bmc.org or 1-617-414-7333.
BMC After Midnight at Project ASSERT works with individuals involved in sex work and survivors of sex trafficking.
BMC Child Witness to Violence Project (CWVP)offers free services, no insurance necessary, including counseling, Advocacy, Outreach, and Training at Boston Medical Center. Child must be 8 years old or younger and have witnessed act of significant violence.
BPHC Healthy Baby, Healthy Child provides free home visiting to pregnant or postpartum women with children under the age of 5 in the Boston area.
BMC Pediatric Teen and Tot Program provides a wide array of services for Pregnant Teenagers (up to age 21) w/first time baby; free 10-week prenatal education class with free food covering topics including Breastfeeding,Contraception, Delivery & Postpartum recovery, Housing & Benefits Information, Newborn & Toddler Development, Nutrition, School and Work Issues, and Support & Education for young fathers. Paraprofessional comes to the home.
BMC SOFAR (Supporting Our Families through Addiction and Recovery)is apediatric primary care clinic for mothers in recovery and their children.
BPHC Mom’s Project provides outpatient substance use treatment for women 18+. Childcare is provided.
The Center for Early Relationship Support, at the Jewish Family and Children’s Service center in Waltham, provides support groups, information, and other services.
Children’s Hospital Young Parent Program (YPP) provides medical care, social work services and health education to teen parents and their children.
Children’s Room provides grief and bereavement services for children, teens and families. Facilitated peer support groups are offered at no cost.
The EVA Center is a survivor-led, social justice-oriented program whose mission is empowering women who have experienced sexual exploitation—prostitution, sex trafficking—to find solutions. They offer information, resources, and support to women in the Boston area.
The Hope Clinic at MGH provides coordinated care for pregnant and parenting women with substance use disorder and their families.
The Institute for Health and Recovery’s Family Engagement Project offers community-based outreach, engagement, and treatment services for families who are dealing with both substance use and the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families’ (DCF) involvement.
Louis D. Brown Peace Institute is a center of healing, teaching, and learning for families impacted by murder, grief, trauma and loss.
Project RESPECT at Boston Medical Center is a special birth center designed to work with women in recovery or treatment for substance use disorder. They offer prenatal care, delivery services, and postpartum rooming.
Living In Freedom Together (LIFT) empowers survivors if sexual exploitation in Central Massachusetts, providing case management, medical referrals, a drop in center, and support groups.
Millford Hospital-First Steps Program provides prenatal care and childbirth education for pregnant women with substance-use disorders.
Substance Free Worcester has a list of resources and treatment programs. They also have information and services for family members and friends. There are videos, fact sheets, and phone numbers on their website.
Justice Resource Institute-First Connections provides programs for parents with children birth to age 8, including parenting seminars, support groups, workshops, playgroups, and home visiting. Services are available in Acton, Bedford, Boxborough, Carlisle, Concord, Hanscom AFB, Harvard, Lincoln, Littleton, Maynard, Sudbury, and Westford.
Parenting Journey provides parenting and sober parenting groups for mothers, fathers and caregivers. Groups are provided at locations in and around Somerville.A meal is provided as well as childcare.
District Attorney of Middlesex County Marian Ryan has a Safe Babies Safe Kids Task Force that offers information, resources, and services to families in Middlesex County. These include safe sleep posters and coloring books, water safety tips, and more.
Healing Abuse and Working for Change (HAWC) provides services for survivors of domestic violence. The provide a 24/7 hotline 1800-547-1649 and free information on domestic violence on their website in addition to Safety tips, Legal Advocacy, Hospital Advocacy, Children’s Services, and Emergency Family Shelter. Located in Salem, Gloucester, Lynn, and the North Shore Medical Center.
The Institute for Health and Recovery’s Family Engagement Project offers community-based outreach, engagement, and treatment services for families who are dealing with both substance use and DCF involvement.
The Family Recovery Project offers home-based services for DCF-involved families affected by substance use whose children have been removed or are at risk of removal. This free service can help a family work through their DCF Service Plan. There are Southeast Resources listed on this website for other services, such as domestic violence, legal help, and more.
The Moms Do Care Project on the Cape pairs pregnant women with treatment providers, understanding medical providers, and a peer recovery mom coach to support and coordinate services throughout pregnancy and into early parenting. Contact Cape Cod Hospital for more information about the Moms Do Care project.
Cooley Dickinson Hospital-New Beginnings Program provides education and support for pregnant and postpartum women in recovery from opioid use.
Empty Arms serves families in Western Massachusetts whose babies have died through miscarriage, stillbirth, or early infant death.
The Family Recovery Project offers home-based services for DCF-involved families affected by substance use whose children have been removed or are at risk of removal. This free service can help a family work through their DCF Service Plan. It is available in Hampden County. There are Resources listed on their site for other services, such as domestic violence services, legal help, and more.
Motherwoman’s free support groups are held across Massachusetts. They present opportunity for pregnant and parenting women to talk openly about the challenges of parenting, to gain support, and build community.
About the Journey Recovery Project
The Journey Recovery Project is an interactive Web resource for pregnant and parenting women who have questions or concerns about opioid and other substance use. The Journey Recovery Project focuses on the stories of women with lived experience, offering information, hope, encouragement, and resources for every step of their perinatal journey. With videos, informational slideshows, resource links, and worksheets, the Journey Recovery Project seeks to empower and inform women about opioid and other substance use and pregnancy.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health created the Journey Recovery Project.
We hope that you enjoy visiting the site and taking advantage of the resources it has to offer.