WAKEFIELD — Wakefield residents will soon have access to a mental health and wellness referral help line that will be able to match those in need of services with licensed mental health professionals from an extensive database.

Representatives of the Wakefield Health Department appeared before the Board of Selectmen last night to talk about the MSPP INTERFACE Referral Service and the needs that it will be able to help address both in the Wakefield schools and the community at large.

Wakefield’s Drug Abuse Prevention Coordinator Catherine Dhingra and Health Director Ruth Clay were joined by Wakefield High School psychologist Jason Levene to discuss Wakefield’s participation in the program.

Other Massachusetts Communities currently utilizing the MSPP INTERFACE Referral Service include Boston, Chelmsford, Concord-Carlisle, Littleton, Milford, Needham, Newton, Waltham and Westford.

Dhingra said that she and Levene are involved with a district-wide Behavioral Health Team. In the course conducting interviews and assessments, she said, they heard from school professionals and community members about the inability to access mental health care. The INTERFACE program takes the legwork out of the process of finding help for mental health issues, Dhingra added.

Under a two-year contract with MSPP INTERFACE, any parent, student or community member can reach out to the program and get assistance navigating insurance and getting matched with mental health care provider. Dhingra noted that for someone in a fragile state of mind, just having to deal with some of those initial steps can be an overwhelming barrier to getting help.

Levene said that he heard about the program from professionals in other school systems where it had been used successfully. He echoed Dhingra’s comments noting that the program helps to eliminate roadblocks that can prevent individuals and families from getting the help they need.

Clay wanted to make it clear the program isn’t just for those with a connection to the schools.

“This program is for the whole community,” Clay stressed. “There are services for people who are older and people who are younger. This also provides services for those of us in between.” She called the $12,000 annual cost of the program “short money” for the services available, calling it “a fantastic opportunity.”

For the school community, benefits cited include:

• Early intervention to help prevent mental health problems from becoming more severe.

• Decrease in risky behavior that often starts in middle school and high school.

• Improved ability of students to cope day to day.

• Improved educational outcomes.

For the community at large, the INTERFACE program provides help navigating the difficult process of matching insurance with clinical needs and finding doctors and clinicians with openings. The program addresses roadblocks like multiple phone calls and weeks of waiting. It was noted that the Wakefield Police, the Council on Aging, the Board of Health, the Housing Authority and other town departments will be able to promote this service to residents in need of mental health support services.

“It’s for everybody, no matter what stage of life you’re in,” Clay emphasized.

Members of the Board of Selectmen voiced support for the program.

“These issues know no economic, religious or ethnic barrier,” Selectman Betsy Sheeran said. “I think it’s money well spent.”

More information, including help line phone numbers, will be publicized shortly. In the meantime, contact the Health Department at 781-246-6375 with any questions.