Gould Farm is a therapeutic community that
promotes recovery for people with mental health and related challenges through meaningful work, community living, and clinical care.
What We Do
Gould Farm, established in 1913, is first residential community in the nation devoted to helping adults surmount mental health challenges and progress toward recovery, wellness, and greater independence through a combination of community living, meaningful work, and clinical support.
The guests of Gould Farm enjoy the safety and security of a warm and welcoming family-like community that is composed of staff, families, volunteers, and fellow guests. All members are not only accepted, but they are also deeply respected and celebrated for their unique individuality.
We specialize in offering support and care to adults who are living with mental health conditions such as depression, bipolar disorder, schizoaffective disorder, and schizophrenia. Our top priority is creating a safe and nurturing environment where everyone feels not only accepted but also trusted. As a member of the community, each guest is held to high expectations to contribute in the ways they are able.
Our community is built on the principles of empowerment and inclusivity. We believe that each guest has unique talents and strengths to offer, and we encourage them to share their gifts with the community. Furthermore, we understand that learning and growth never stop, which is why we offer our guests ample opportunities to learn and practice new skills in a supportive environment. At Gould Farm, we strive to empower our guests and enable them to reach their fullest potential.
Our clinical team works in close collaboration with our guests to ensure they receive the best possible care. Together, they create personalized plans that optimize medications and build compensatory strategies to manage symptoms associated with their illnesses. We understand the importance of resiliency in both work and social contexts, which is why we strive to help our guests develop these skills to the fullest extent.
Through a stepped progression, we support guests as their symptoms improve and they learn real-life skills. Our ultimate goal is to help guests recover a sense of worth and hope, empowering them to build the strength and confidence required to progress toward greater independence and recovery. At Gould Farm, we believe in providing the tools and support our guests need to achieve their goals and live fulfilling lives.
We are proud to offer a comprehensive range of services that meet the unique needs of our guests. Our continuum of care includes a supported transition to greater independence, which means we provide our guests with the resources and support they need to make a smooth and successful transition to living on their own.
Moreover, we understand the importance of having a strong support network, which is why we offer our guests access to an extended community in both the Berkshires and the Boston area. Our guests have the opportunity to connect with others who share their experiences and receive the ongoing support they need to thrive. At Gould Farm, we believe in providing our guests with the tools and resources required to achieve their goals and lead fulfilling lives.
Gould Farm, established in 1913 by Will and Agnes Gould, stands as a testament to their visionary approach to helping those with mental health issues. Their pioneering work in the Berkshire hills of Massachusetts welcomed guests who were experiencing emotional and psychiatric vulnerabilities to join them, working on the farm and sharing the joys and challenges of daily life in a kind, healthy community.
Their compassionate approach to mental health care quickly garnered the attention of social service agencies in Boston and New York, who began referring people to Gould Farm for treatment. As Will eloquently stated in a 1921 article in The New York Times,
“Too often had the mistake been made of taking people out to the country and leaving them there in the hope that just the change of environment would work a miraculous cure. What people needed, especially people who were unhappy and depressed, was to have the country interpreted to them by showing them where they fitted into the scheme of things.”
Will's vision was to help people find their place of belonging and to bring back the desire of living and working to people who had lost it.
Today, Gould Farm remains true to its roots while also focusing on helping people with serious mental illnesses. Licensed by the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health, Gould Farm has been recognized as a model treatment program and has influenced other programs worldwide in places such as Canada, Denmark, Ireland, and Australia, among others.
Our 750-acre campus has even been designated as a Model Forest by the Forest Guild, reflecting our commitment to sustainable forest and land management practices.
The enduring legacy of Will and Agnes Gould is a testament to the power of community and the transformative potential of compassionate, individualized care. Gould Farm remains a beacon of hope and healing for individuals living with mental health challenges and a shining example of the healing power of nature and community.
(Gould Farm: A Life of Sharing, William J. McKee, 1994)
“Gould Farm is a unique and pioneering refuge for people with mental disorders…a place where respect and relationship, work and friends, are central to the healing process. We need many more such places in the world.” - Dr. Oliver Sacks
At Gould Farm, even as the years have passed, some aspects of life remain as they were 100 years ago: the diligent care of animals and land, the cultivation and sharing of nourishing food, and the cooperative coexistence of people in a community founded on compassion and support. Above all, hope and recovery flourish here every single day.