The Rian Immigrant Center offers Wellness services to immigrants from around the world. With generous support from the Irish Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade: Emigrant Support Programme, we offer extensive support to the Irish immigrant community in New England.
We provide compassionate, confidential care, specializing in therapeutic support for emotional and mental health needs including depression and anxiety, substance use and recovery, and trauma and crisis management. We help individuals access health insurance and foster community building among our Irish clients through Irish language classes, workshops, and events. We are welcoming, inclusive, and committed to diversity. We support LGBTQ+ communities and people living with disabilities.
Who We Are
Lea Vugic, LICSW is our Director of Wellness Services, a clinical social worker with years of experience of working with diverse immigrant communities in the Greater Boston Area. Lea, an immigrant herself, puts her clients’ goals first, believes in their strengths, and understands the immigrant experience first-hand.
Siobhan Kelly is our case manager and an Irish-American. She helps clients access resources in Greater Boston and Ireland, solves problems, navigates the healthcare system from health insurance to treatment options, and assists clients with completing passport renewals.
Mental Health and Emotional Support
Immigrating to a new country can be stressful, and some immigrants who have limited access to health insurance need supportive counseling, evaluation, and referrals, free of charge. Our services are flexible and tailored to clients’ needs, including consultations and longer-term support.
Suicide Prevention and Loss
Our Irish community, both in Boston and in Ireland, experience a high rate of suicide loss. We are committed to helping those with self-harm and/or thoughts of suicide to find relief and stability. We are here to triage a crisis, combat the despair and loneliness often associated with suicidal thoughts, and to navigate the very particular grief that losing a friend or family member to suicide can bring.
Substance Use and Recovery
There is a high correlation between substance use and depression. We can help individuals and families plan and achieve sobriety, tailoring a recovery plan to fit their needs. We offer a pathway to change, working with primary care doctors, Alcoholics Anonymous, local hospitals and day programs. We are inspired by our clients and their commitment to reach out to help others along the way.
Health Screenings, Clinics, and Events
In support of a healthy community, we hold free flu shot clinics and oral hygiene workshops. We present films and events focused on mental health, self-care, sobriety, and other topics of interest to the immigrant community.
Reaching the Community
“Matters of Substance” is a bi-monthly column focused on emotional health and recovery, which is published in the Boston Irish Reporter and in the Rian Immigrant Center newsletters. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter!
Read our most recent “Matters of Substance” article here.
Irish Language and Cultural Connections
In collaboration with Cumann na Gaeilge, the Rian Immigrant Center offers Irish language classes. Offered to absolute beginners through intermediate speakers, our classes are fun and welcoming. All of our teachers are native Irish speakers and are committed to keeping the language alive in the Boston community. We welcome students from Ireland, the US, and all around the world, and enjoy hearing the ancient Irish culture come alive! For more information, contact Siobhan Kelly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are thankful to the following organizations who help us in delivering our programs: CrossCare/Ireland, Cumann na Gaeilge, Cathedral Cares Health Clinics, CIIC Social Services Committee, Greater Boston Regional Coalition for Suicide Prevention, Charitable Irish Society, DMH Multicultural Advisory Committee, Tufts School of Dental Medicine, Mayor’s Office for Immigrant Advancement.
Mental Health Emergency Services: BEST/Boston (800-981-4357), Statewide Emergency Mental Health Help (877-382-1609), and Samaritans (800-870-4673), Nationwide- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (800-273-8255)
Domestic Violence Help: SafeLink (877-785-2020)
Support for Trans Community: Trans Lifeline, crisis & non-crisis support (877-565-8860)
National Sexual Assault Hotline: RAINN, 1-800-656-4673
Health Insurance Information: Health Care for All ( 899-272-4232)
“For years, I hadn’t known what was going on for me. I didn’t have the words for it. Working with the Rian Immigrant Center, I learnt I have anxiety and depression, and I can do something about it. It can get better.” – Danny
“When I first came to the Rian Immigrant Center, I was feeling truly broken. I didn’t know where to start. Now a year later, [with] our work together, I am much stronger and hopeful. They helped me here and when I returned to Ireland, too.” – Luke
“Siobhan in Wellness is a treasure. She helped me sort out things with social security, my job search and resume and always listens to me. The best thing I ever did, years ago, was coming to Wellness at the Center!” – Peter
“I’d be lost without being able to talk to you every week, either here in the office or on the phone. Really and literally, lost. Thank you for what you do, for being confidential and caring and to Ireland for providing this for me.” – Sheila
“I felt so isolated, stressed out and alone. Thank you for being here for me, and for my son.” – Simeen
“Thank you so much. You are really kind, thank you for not judging me and getting it. My home is here after all of these years, I want to stay, and I’m trying to stay healthy, sober and strong with your help, every week.” – Ruth
“I want to thank the team at the Rian Immigrant Center for everything you have done, not only for me, but for people like me. You’ve no idea how much your kindness is key to feeling healthier. Thank you for helping my soul realize its potential to bloom, especially in dark times.” – Grace