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Ms. Erica McNamara, MPH, is the Director of the Reading Coalition for Prevention & Support with the Reading Police Department (2008-present) overseeing mental health promotion and substance abuse prevention initiatives. In her role as Coalition Director, she oversees the staff in their strategic prevention work to improve community collaboration, reduce substance misuse and promote mental health awareness. She is a Crisis Intervention Team Coordinator, certified by CIT International. She is a member of the Mystic Valley Public Health Coalition, Reading Partners & Allies for Inclusive Reading, the RPS District Support Team and the RPS Wellness Committee. She has served as Reading Youth Health Survey Coordinator for the Reading Public Schools for fifteen years. She was honored to receive the 2022 Rev. Peter J. Gomes Award from Congressman Seth Moulton’s office and was named 2021 Reading Police Department Employee of the Year.
From 2008-2018, Ms. McNamara managed the ten-year Reading’s Drug Free Communities grant project through the U.S. Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. She is a Certified Instructor for Mental Health First Aid USA and teaches the Teen, Youth, Adult, Public Safety and Higher Education courses.
Prior to the Reading Coalition, she served as the Director of Adolescent Health & Youth Development at Lowell Community Health Center in Lowell, MA where she managed five after-school prevention projects. She was the Director/Principal Investigator of the Cambodian Youth Development Partnership funded by the U.S. SAMHSA Center for Substance Abuse Prevention. Ms. McNamara developed programs focused on Asset-Based Youth Development, Teen Pregnancy, HIV, STDs, Substance Misuse and Violence Prevention blending innovative and evidence-based approaches. Ms. McNamara was with LCHC for 12 years and previously served as a VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America), Gang Outreach Worker, HIV Prevention Educator, and ESL Teacher.
She graduated with Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Massachusetts Lowell. She completed the Suffolk University Community Health Management Training Program and the Master of Public Health Program at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She has taught a range of evidence-based curricula including Mental Health First Aid, Hazelden Alternative Routes, Creating Lasting Family Connections, Reducing the Risk, and Changing Scenes. She has presented at both regional and national conferences including CADCA's Monumental Impact Conference, Massachusetts Library Conference, Massachusetts Connecting for Change Statewide Youth Summit, American Public Health Association, United States Conferences on AIDS, and the National HIV Prevention Conference.
Public Safety Clinician
Taunya L. Jarzyniecki, LMHC, LADAC, started as the first Public Safety Clinician with the Reading Coalition on April 4, 2022 at the Reading Police Department. She is an experienced Clinical Mental Health Leader with a strong foundation in crisis intervention, mental health treatment, substance misuse support and care coordination for the past 19 years. She is a Crisis Intervention Team Coordinator, certified by CIT International. She is a member of the Reading Hoarding Task Force, RPS District Support Team and the Mystic Valley Public Health Coalition. She was named Employee of the Year for 2022 by the Reading Police Department. In 2023, she was selected to present a workshop on cultivating partnerships at the YOUTH AT RISK Conference. Ms. Jarzyniecki graduated from Northeastern University with her Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice in 1994, Cum Laude. She received her Master of Education Degree in Counseling at the University of Massachusetts Boston in 2002. She began her clinical career at South Bay Mental Health Center in Brockton, Massachusetts (June 2001-March 2003) where she served as an Outpatient Clinician. Following her time at South Bay, she worked for Riverside Community Care as an Emergency Services Clinician (July 2002-August 2004). Since 2004, Ms. Jarzyniecki has worked for The Mental Health Center of Greater Manchester in Manchester, New Hampshire for 18 years serving in a variety of clinical roles including Emergency Services Clinician (August 2004-March 2020), Child & Adolescent Family Therapist (October 2011-November 2016), Court Liaison (2016-2018), Mobile Crisis Response Team Clinician (December 2016-March 2020) and Coordinator of the Clinical Case Management Team (2018-2021). Ms. Jarzyniecki most recently served as the Assistant Director of Mobile Crisis Response & ES/Interim Care (February 2021-March 2022) at The Mental Health Center of Greater Manchester. In this role, she was responsible for the daily operations of the Mobile Crisis Response Team and Emergency Services. Her duties included provisions of clinical care, staff supervision and planning of services to meet the needs of the community. Other duties include recruitment, hiring, orientation, and training, scheduling to provide 24/7 coverage, training/oversight to Mobile Crisis staff for psycho-social assessments, clinical formulation and diagnosis. She also provided oversight to the Rapid Response Grant as well as the MAT grant located out of Emergency services. Within this role, she participated in twice yearly Critical Intervention training with the Manchester Police Department. She co-facilitated agency wide training for CALM and Reducing Stigma. She also served as the liaison to community partners that interface with both Emergency Services and Mobile Crisis Response Team. In addition to her work as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Master Licensed Alcohol & Drug Counselor, Ms. Jarzyniecki has served as a Guest Speaker on New Hampshire Public Radio (2018) and presented at the New Hampshire Behavioral Health Summit (2018, 2020). She was awarded the MHC-GM’s Kendall Snow Community Advocacy Award in 2018.