Throughout our history, we’ve worked toward creating a healthier Island community.

Our organization got its start in 1961 when a group of committed Island clergy and family physicians recognized the gap in mental health services on Martha’s Vineyard. After recruiting then summer resident, Dr. Milton Mazer to become a full-time psychiatrist for the Island, Dr. Mazer founded what is now our Island Counseling Center through donations from the community.

The Island Counseling Center has since evolved to become what is now Martha’s Vineyard Community Services – a social service umbrella organization that houses an array of services to meet the needs of our community:

Since our founding, the unwavering dedication of donors, volunteers and staff members have helped our mission come to life. Each year is an opportunity to create a stronger, healthier community; making a positive impact on the Island we call home.

There was no precedent for so small, so unaffluent, so isolated a community to start its own community health clinic. The difficulties of the proposal argued loudly for themselves. How could such a service be supported in a county with the lowest median income and the highest rate of poverty in its state?…Starting with a community mental health clinic, a small traditional community went about establishing a responsive network of human services, so that its people now have a richness of resources rarely available save to larger, affluent populations..”

– Milton Mazer