To the editor:

It is deeply concerning that on Feb. 5, Andover opted to remove Bill Fahey from his role as director of Andover Youth Services.

That is the day they confiscated his phone and removed the most naturally talented counselor I have ever known from his position.

As a school counselor and former crisis clinician, I want you to know that we are in the midst of a mental health pandemic. Hundreds of young people are trapped in emergency rooms too sick to go home and without a treatment place to take them.

Many of these young people are waiting weeks for a few days of treatment and then go home with, if they are lucky, some new pills and a rapid course of dialectical behavior therapy.

Waits for therapists are long and based not on need but well paying insurances.

In firing Fahey the town removed a dedicated counselor who finds services for young people 24/7. In taking his phone the town put young people in crisis at risk by not providing continuity of care. (I know they took his phone because I am in frequent contact with him as an alum -- AYS since 1997.)

Given the town’s cavalier actions in removing a mental health asset with no notice, the taxpayers of Andover deserve concrete answers.

I am calling on the town to release a report immediately.

Will English

Beverly

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