The Bridge: A Center for Hope and Healing expanding youth programming

Dec 7, 2017

Four years ago and shortly after arriving in Dartmouth, The Rev. Scott Ciosek looked at empty space at St Peter’s Church’s 351 Elm Street location, and was determined to fill that void with something that made a difference in people’s lives

That vision turned into The Bridge: A Center for Hope and Healing, which opened inside a house attached to the church in 2015. The non-profit organization offers one-on-one counseling services, support groups, group programs, wellness programs, and other services to help those in the community.

“It was a desire in our hearts to open our doors to anyone in the community in need of support and hope and healing,” Ciosek said, adding that despite being housed in a church, all are welcome regardless of who they are or where they are in life.

In early 2016, The Bridge began offering one-on-one therapy. They now help more than 130 people a month, plus those attending the organization’s free support groups.

Now, less than two years after opening, Ciosek and his staff of 11 psychotherapists, office administrators, and spiritual and homeopathic experts are preparing to take that mission a step further: expand its services to kids and teens, amid an unprecedented demand for youth services.

“One of the areas we really want to help is with kids,” Ciosek said. “We want to be a building that’s a safe place for kids to come. We want to be a bridge for kids too.”

By the new year, Ciosek hopes to have one-on-one therapy programs and support groups for kids and teens fully up and running, with additional programs including mindfulness and meditation programs for kids and parents.

” There are so many needs out there [kids] are dealing with,” Ciosek said.

To handle the increased workload, The Bridge hired several new psychotherapists and licensed social workers to work with those seeking help, like Melissa Ahaesy and Kelley Cabral-Mosher. Cabral-Mosher found out about The Bridge through a mailing list, and when she showed up for an interview fell in love with the concept.

“Just walking in the building it feels welcoming,” Cabral-Mosher said. “That’s the hardest thing to do - to walk in and ask for help.”

The pair have seen firsthand the increased stress placed upon children, from parents who may work several jobs to support their families, to increased technology and social media usage intended to connect and unite people causing their own problems. Drawn to The Bridge due to its location and mission, the pair are ready to help those in the community.

“I think inevitably through time those exact things have done the opposite; they’ve isolated people and disconnected people,” Cabral-Mosher said.

“It’s so easy to express anger quickly and impulsively now,” Aheasy added.

For more information about The Bridge, or to schedule an appointment, call (508) 997-0903. The Bridge offers free support groups, and most major insurance plans are accepted for one-on-one therapy programs.