Read updates on COVID-19 and Advocates.

COVID-19 and Advocates

Your source for COVID-19 information, resources, and program updates at Advocates.

June 9, 2020

General Updates

As COVID-19, more commonly known as Coronavirus, continues to be a concern across our country and the world, we are taking these concerns very seriously and working diligently to prevent the spread of the virus at Advocates. Find the most recent updates and information here. 


Advocates has met all the criteria required to perform Phase 1 services and procedures as defined in the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) Reopen Approach for Health Care Providers. Our Reopen Attestation was submitted on May 22, 2020. Learn more about the Governor’s 4-phased approach to reopening Massachussetts.(link is external)View Advocates' DPH attestation.

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Advocates Program Updates

  • Life Skills & Learning Center - Day services at Advocates Life Skills & Learning Center in Ashland are closed until further notice. We are now providing some services and support virtually.
  • Brain Injury Day & Community Services - Day services at Advocates Brain Injury Day & Community Services in Lexington are closed until further notice. 
  • Our Psychiatric Emergency Services are available virtually. If you are experiencing a mental health or emotional crisis, please call (800) 640-5432 to speak to an Advocates crisis clinician. We are available to help 24 hours a day, every day. Learn more.
  • Advocates Community Counseling - All services, including therapy and psychiatric medication appointments, provided through Advocates Community Counseling in Framingham, Marlborough, Harvard, and Waltham are virtual - through Telehealth by phone or Zoom - until further notice. There are no walk-in hours or appointments being run in office locations. If you have questions or need to schedule an appointment, please call our intake line at (508) 661-2038. 
  • The Living Room - Our 24-hour crisis alternative program, The Living Room, is open for in-person visits from 8:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m. There is a limit of 2 guests at a time, so it may be helpful for individuals to call before visiting, if possible. If you are planning to visit, please call (508) 661-3333. There will be no overnight stays at this time. We will continue to support individuals experiencing emotional distress or a mental health crisis by offering 24-hour phone support. If you are struggling, please call (508) 661-3333 to connect with one of our caring certified peer specialists. 
  • Residential Programs -  7/1/20 - Revised Visitation Policy for DDS Residential Programs
  • Virtual Support Groups - Advocates is now offering several virtual support groups via Zoom. These include mental health support groups as well as social and recreational groups. Facilitated by members of Advocates Peer Specialist team, these support groups are open to anyone in the community, not just individuals served by Advocates, and participation is confidential. Learn more. 
  • Adult Family Care - MassHealth has allowed flexibility in how we provide Telehealth services to Adult Family Care members. These changes allow us to continue to enroll, support, and provide care to caregivers and members during this difficult time. 

Accepting Mask Donations

We are working diligently to obtain personal protective equipment (PPE) for the people we support in residential programs and all our staff members. We have received several generous donations from individuals and organizations, however we are still in need of more disposable and cloth masks to help protect all in the Advocates community. If you are able to, please consider making masks and donating them to Advocates. Use your own design or follow the tutorials below. Thank you in advance!

Masks can be mailed to:
Diane Newark
1881 Worcester Road
Framingham, MA 01701

Mask Resources:


Updates for Staff 

For the latest internal updates, FAQs, and resources, please check your Advocates email daily or login to The Connector.

Updates for Families

To receive updates via email, please subscribe to our email newsletters

Latest Update 

7/1/20 Revised Visitation Policy for DDS Residential Programs

Previous Updates

6/9/20 - Read update here.

6/9/20 Visitation Policy for DDS Residential Programs.

5/22/20 - Read update here. 

5/22/20 Updated COVID-19 guidance and information for DDS individuals and families.

5/11/20 - Read update here. 

4/25/20 - Read update here. 

4/14/20 - Read update here. 

4/4/20 - Read update here. 

3/27/20 - Read update here. 

3/25/20 - Updated COVID-19 guidance and information for DDS individuals and families from Commissioner Jane Ryder:

3/19/20  - Read update here. 

3/16/20Coronavirus Update for DDS Individuals and Families from Commissioner Jane Ryder.

3/11/20 - Read update here.

Resources for Families

Information on COVID-19

Downloadable Tools

Community Resources

  • Visit Behavioral Health Partners of MetroWest for a list of resources including housing, food security, employment issues, and more.

  • Advocates is offering several Virtual Support Groups via Zoom, led by members of Advocates Peer Specialist team. These include mental health support groups as well as social and recreational groups, and are open to anyone in the community. Participation is confidential.

Daily Resources and Activities

Resources in American Sign Language (ASL)