CSI is a family-owned, community-based clinic focused exclusively on outpatient, trauma-informed psychotherapy, psychiatry, and psychological assessment.
A Family’s Dedication to Community Mental Health
Community Services Institute (CSI) as an outreach mental health clinic was a reaction to the de-institutional movement of the early 1980’s when long-stay psychiatric hospitals were replaced with community mental health services. The concept of a community mental health clinic offering home and school-based services was created at the kitchen table in the Sacco’s family home in East Boston, MA where Frank and his brother, Jim, were raised. Originally named the Institute at Newton, home and school-based services began to be offered in Boston where CSI still maintains a clinic today. Soon a second location was opened in Springfield, MA and the name of the clinic was eventually changed to Community Services Institute.
Dr. Frank Sacco
President 1986 – 2020
Dr. Frank Sacco pioneered the use of home-based mental services to work with multi-problem families, often referred by the Massachusetts Departments of Children and Families and Youth Services, courts and schools. Outreach mental health services were not initially recognized by commercial insurance companies or the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid. However, Frank continued to champion the cause to the point where CSI has provided over 2 million outreach services in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Frank was an international speaker on school violence and victimization. He appeared on CNN News commenting on school shootings and bullying. He also addressed audiences in Jamaica, Paraguay, Australia, and New Zealand on the topics of violence. Dr. Sacco was an adjunct Professor at Western New England College in Springfield, MA. He was qualified as an expert in Child and Family Mental Health over 100 times in juvenile and federal courts in Massachusetts. He had been a consultant to the FBI’s Behavioral Sciences Unit on topics including US School Shooters, Threat Assessment, Domestic Violence, and Internet Sexual Exploitation of Children.
Dr. Frank Sacco died on April 25 of 2020 due to complications from cancer. His legacy of fighting to keep children safe and to support those who struggle with mental health challenges continues.
James S. Sacco, Ed.D.
President and Clinic Administrator
Dr. Jim Sacco, Frank’s younger brother, stepped into the role of President of CSI in May of 2020.
Jim is a distinguished clinician with 30 years’ experience in the field of clinical psychology. Dr. Sacco began his career as a classroom teacher and eventually advanced into the role of School Administrator. He soon joined his brother Frank at Community Services Institute to form what was to become “the family business”. While working on his doctorate at American International College, Jim worked as an outreach clinician and conducted numerous psychological evaluations at CSI. Dr. Sacco eventually stepped into the role of Clinic Administrator overseeing all aspects of care at the clinic. Dr. Sacco has also been a consultant to the Department of Children and Families for over two decades as well as consulting on difficult cases in the courts and schools. He has testified as an expert in psychology many times in the last decade. He also is a specialist in learning disabilities and the assessment of risk and trauma.
As President, Jim is preparing the next generation of the Sacco family to carry on Frank’s legacy as a champion of behavioral health.
Cristen Sacco-Dion, LICSW
Pre-Masters Social Work Internship Director, Clinical Supervisor
Cristen Sacco Dion is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker with over ten years of experience providing psychotherapy to individuals considered at-risk with histories of trauma, mental health diagnoses, and/or social services involvement. She earned a Bachelor of Science in 2007 from the College of Our Lady of the Elms, and as of 2010, she holds a Master of Social Work degree from Springfield College’s School of Social Work. After earning her master’s degree, Cristen began working at Community Services Institute as an outpatient clinician. Her interests include administrative social work, teaching, and providing therapy to preschool-age children and their families. In 2019, in addition to her role as a clinical supervisor for pre-licensed MSW clinicians, Sacco Dion was appointed the Director of Community Services Institute’s Pre-Masters Social Work Internship Program.
Frank C. Sacco, Jr., Psy.D.
The youngest of Frank’s children, Frank Jr., “Franky”, is a newly minted Doctor of Psychology from William James College. Frank Jr. inherited his father’s entrepreneurial energy as well as his dedication to those in need. Frank Jr. works as an outreach clinician at CSI’s Dorchester clinic. He co-authored Virtual Healing Communities with his father in 2018, a self-help guide for the use of medical marijuana. Frank Jr. is currently working on the pilot program of In Real Life Gaming. InRealLifeGaming.com is designed to open up a space in the community for children and adolescents to celebrate video games and technology to enhance their social-emotional well-being.
Francis “Kelly” Sacco
1924 – 2013
The story of Community Services Institute as a family business would not be complete without Frank and Jim’s father, Francis Sacco. Kelly, as he was better known, was a veteran of WWII. He was also a dedicated husband and devoted father. After his retirement from the MBTA, Kelly turned his attention to his sons’ business.
Not a day passed that Kelly’s shadow did not fall upon the clinic located at 1695 Main St. “Coffee with Kelly” started the day for many CSI employees who enjoyed listening to his stories and his many “opinions” regarding various topics. His focus, however, was keeping an eagle eye on his sons’ business making sure that “the clinic” was in good running order. He continued in this role until his death at age 89 in 2013.