Mass Casualty & Marathon Bombings

Anyone impacted by the violence linked to the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings or events that followed in Cambridge and Watertown, is eligible for free support services. To find out more about the support services, use the links below.

Specialized, evidence-based services are available for survivors of the 2013 Marathon violence via MOVA’s AEAP Funded Behavioral Health Program.

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy for post disaster distress
  • Narrative therapy
  • Stress management skills training

To find out more, or to register for one of the services, call: (844)-878-MOVA (6682)

Also, read more about the MOVA Behavioral Health Program here.

A primary factor in resilience is having caring and supportive relationships.

MOVA established the Massachusetts Resiliency Center to provide a central physical location for delivery of services to Marathon bombing victims. The Resiliency Center connects survivors with resources in your local communities and employs online forums to provide training on topics related to recovery. It also uses a variety of technology resources to connect victims and survivors to services across the nation and internationally.

To access navigation and resiliency services call MOVA at (844) 878-MOVA (6682)

Employment Options provides job assistance services and guidance. They offer strength-based, individualized employment supports that help you reach your goals. Services are provided through the Institute for Community Inclusion at the University of Massachusetts Boston.

Services include career exploration, preparation for job search, and assistance with securing meaningful employment. They can also help you if you need assistance in your current job or are seeking a career change. Services are provided at their offices or in the local community. Outside of Massachusetts, remote access is available via video conferencing, email, conference calls, and webinars.

Many individuals in the vicinity of the Marathon bombings suffer from a variety of auditory conditions, ranging from hearing loss to tinnitus (ringing in the ears). Hearing loss may be caused by exposure to loud noises or head trauma. If you were close enough to the bombings to have other physical injuries you are likely to have some aspect of your hearing affected. Treatment is essential as these conditions may worsen over time. Tinnitus is a problem for many following the bombings and the condition is frequently associated with some degree of hearing loss.

Hearing loss can make it difficult for many to participate in social activities. The signs and impacts of hearing loss vary widely. Some people experience trouble concentrating, depression and low self-esteem. Others report headaches, tense muscles and stress. There are clear associations between sudden hearing loss and feelings of loneliness, distress, depression and anxiety. Direct social consequences may include isolation or common communication difficulties. Hearing loss can make it difficult for many to participate in social activities, and may produce a heavy burden on family and friends due to a breakdown in communication and the ensuing isolation.

MOVA has partnered with the MA Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (MCDHH) to offer victims of the bombings hearing and auditory services free of charge. The Commission provides specialized services and assistive technologies to persons who are deaf or hard of hearing. Unique services include peer support and counseling to help people progress. If you think you may be suffering from hearing loss or other hearing related issues following the bombings, MOVA stands ready to help.

If the Marathon bombings has affected you or a loved one, call MOVA at (844) 878-MOVA (6682)

Center for Hearing Loss Help
The Center's website contains useful information on hearing loss and tinnitus. The background article, "Tinnitus – What's that?" covers many aspect of tinnitus. Ears and Hearing Effects Continue to Reverberate after Boston Marathon Bombing

Ears and Hearing Effects Continue to Reverberate after Boston Marathon Bombing
The Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary website offers a study published in the journal Otology & Neurotology that reviews the types of hearing problems that occurred as a result of the Marathon bombings. It also discusses the need for continuing treatment for victims. How to Live with Tinnitus
The website explains tinnitus, its causes and consequences, as well as prevention measures and coping strategies.

Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (MCDHH)
The MCDHH website presents basic guidelines for effective communication with deaf, late-deafened, and hard of hearing people.

Neuroscience May Offer Hope to Millions Robbed Of Silence by Tinnitus-PBS News Hour Report on Tinnitus
This is an interesting scientific article that discusses the causes and symptoms of tinnitus, and reviews recent neuroscience findings that may lead to new therapies.

An article entitled Neuroscience May Offer Hope to Millions Robbed of Silence by Tinnitus and accompanying video discusses the causes and symptoms of tinnitus. It also reviews recent neuroscience findings that may lead to new therapies.

The Marathon bombings exposed people to both the trauma of the terrorist attack and the shockwaves of the actual blasts. Blast waves from explosions dramatically alter pressurization of the air and generate harmful effects to human organs, especially the brain and inner ear. Without being struck by debris or falling down, you can sustain a serious concussion (traumatic brain injury) from the forces exerted on your brain by bomb blasts.

Blast waves from explosions...generate harmful effects to human organs, especially the brain and inner ear.

Signs and symptoms experienced with a blast-related concussion include decreased memory and attention, poor concentration, headaches, slowed thinking, irritability, sleep disturbance and depression. Most individuals who sustain blast injuries recover completely. Often, the brain just needs time and rest to heal and it is important to avoid activities that put the brain at risk for a second injury during this process.

You may require assistance, however, to better manage ongoing symptoms and to move forward with your live. It may be difficult for you to return to work or school, or to maintain daily routines. Some people may experience both concussion and Post- Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). It can be very difficult to tell the difference between what problems may be caused by concussion and which may be due to PTSD.

In cases where symptoms persist, you may need to be referred for a neuropsychological screening or full assessment. The results of the testing will be used to recommend the best course of treatment or strategy to identify community assistance resources. Help may be provided to develop strategies for getting through routine tasks. Counseling and peer support may also help you better understand the changes you are experiencing and how best to best navigate your profoundly changed live.

MOVA is partnered with the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) to support Marathon bombing victims. MRC’s Statewide Head Injury Program (SHIP) offers many critical services and maintains a network of community-based services to assist you in maintaining or increasing your independence in the community.

Call MOVA at (844) 878-MOVA (6682) to access concussion support services

Exposure to violence can significantly impact young children and teenagers. While those impacts may not be obvious or visible, they can be long-lasting. Younger children tend to need more attention from their parents and may become aggressive or unable to verbalize their feelings.

To locate free services near you, use our Find Help Near You service or call MOVA Monday through Friday from 9AM-5PM at (844)-878-MOVA (6682).

Tip Sheets and Fact Sheets for First Responders


Adjusting to Life at Home: Tips for Families of Returning Disaster Responders For families helping disaster response workers to return home and adjust to daily life. The fact sheet outlines issues to keep in mind while adjusting to the return of a loved one, as well as signs of stress and when to seek help.

Helping Staff Manage Stress When Returning to Work: Tips for Supervisors of Disaster Responders For supervisors to help ease the transition and manage stress for disaster response workers returning to work. It presents advice for recognizing and reducing potential difficulties in the workplace and enhancing positive consequences for all staff members.

Identifying Substance Misuse in the Responder Community Describes the warning signs of misuse of alcohol, prescription drugs, and other substances and also provides physical, emotional, social, behavioral, and mental health indicators of possible substance abuse.

Preventing and Managing Stress: Tips for Disaster Responders Provides tips to help disaster response workers prevent and manage stress and suggests strategies to help responders prepare for their assignment, use stress-reducing precautions during the assignment, and manage stress in the recovery phase of the assignment.

Returning to Work: Tips for Disaster Responders Has tips to help disaster response workers transition back to routine work. It discusses stress management and ways to overcome various difficulties, such as fatigue, cynicism, dissatisfaction with routine work, and lack of control over emotions.

Tips for Disaster Responders: Understanding Compassion Fatigue Explains the causes and signs of compassion fatigue, the burnout, and the secondary trauma that a disaster response worker can experience. It offers self-care tips for coping with compassion fatigue and discusses compassion satisfaction as a protective tool.

To locate free services near you, use our Find Help Near You service or call the victim services coordinator at MOVA at (844)-878-MOVA (6682) during regular business hours.