Ms. Erica McNamara, MPH, is the Director of the Reading Coalition for Prevention & Support with the Town of Reading (2008-present) overseeing mental health promotion and substance abuse prevention projects. 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. 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. 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 Abuse, Violence, and Gang 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. Additionally, she completed the Suffolk University Community Health Management Training and the Master of Public Health Programs at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She has taught a range of evidence-based curricula including Mental Health First Aid, 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.
Krystal Mellonakos-Garay joined the Coalition as the Outreach Coordinator on October 4, 2021. Ms. Mellonakos is a Certified Instructor in Teen Mental Health First Aid and Youth Mental Health First Aid USA. She was certified by the BEST Institute in the Youth Worker Certificate Program. She is a Crisis Intervention Team Coordinator, certified by CIT International. She is the instructor for the Chemical Health Education Program at RMHS. She is a member of the Mystic Valley Public Health Coalition, Reading Partners & Allies for Inclusive Reading, and the RPS District Support Ream. Ms. Mellonakos previously served as a RESPOND Inc. Certified Domestic Violence Counselor with the Woburn, Wilmington and Reading Police Departments. Her work with RESPOND Inc. focused on working directly with law enforcement personnel to follow-up with victims of domestic violence incidents. She supported victims including conducting high risk assessments, safety planning and court navigation services. She served as Case Manager for victims providing emotional support, housing assistance and referrals to services. Prior to her placement at RESPOND Inc., Ms. Mellonakos worked for Alternative House as a Youth/Teen Advocate. Her time at Alternative House was spent working with children of domestic violence survivors living in their residential shelter. Before entering the field of social services, Ms. Mellonakos worked as an Assistant International Student and Scholar Advisor at Northeastern University. Ms. Mellonakos completed her Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Massachusetts Lowell in December of 2021. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in International Affairs in May of 2019 from Northeastern University. During her undergraduate program, she participated in two internships and one volunteer experience abroad. Ms. Mellonakos worked in the Public Corruption and Special Prosecutions Unit in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Boston, Massachusetts as an Intern in 2018. She aided the Assistant U.S. Attorney’s with preparing for trial and translated for Spanish speaking victims of crime. In 2017, she worked as an Intern with the International Institute of New England in Boston, assisting newly admitted refugees with obtaining employment. In 2017, she also volunteered at a non-profit organization that provided after school services to children living in low income households in Brazil.
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 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.