Published in the October 6, 2015 edition.

WAKEFIELD — The Town of Wakefield and the Wakefield Public Schools are partners in a new initiative to benefit the health and wellness of all Wakefield residents and students.

The INTERFACE Referral service is a mental health resource and referral Helpline that the community has contracted with to help children, adults and families become connected with mental health and wellness resources.

Wakefield residents can now call to consult with a mental health professional about resources and/or receive personalized matched referrals (based on insurance, location, type of provider needed and availability).

The Health Department, Wake-Up Coalition and Wakefield Public Schools Behavioral Health Team worked to bring this resource to the community due to the countless individuals and parents who reported barriers to accessing the services they needed.

“This service is something that can be used by anyone, a parent who wants to seek care for a 7-year-old with anxiety, a young adult who struggles with substance use, a married couple who needs couples counseling or someone worried about an elder parent who is showing signs of depression,” stated Catherine Dhingra, Wakefield Health Department.

“The Interface Helpline can be an invaluable tool to help our students and families of Wakefield get access to mental health resources.” Jason Levene, Wakefield Public Schools’ psychologist.

The process begins with an in-take call that takes 15 to 20 minutes.When someone calls, they will speak with a resource and referral counselor and will be asked to complete a confidential intake. The caller will be asked for some basic contact information, information about the individual or their child, insurance information, availability to meet with someone and general information about what the individual is concerned about.

Each caller will receive a case number to keep the process confidential. The INTERFACE counselors will begin a search for a match by utilizing a tailored search process in the database as well as other resources to find the service the caller has requested. The INTERFACE Referral Helpline is committed to making a match within two weeks of receiving the intake (although it is often much sooner) and counselors usually provide individuals or parents with 2-3 matches.

INTERFACE counselors remain in touch with callers until the individual feels that a good match with a clinician is made. There is no limit to how many times an individual or family can use this service. The Helpline is available to Wakefield residents and students only (some exceptions can be made). The helpline is open Monday-Friday 9 a.m.-5 p.m. at 617-332-3666, X1411 or 888-244-6843, X1411.

To learn more about this program or to see other communities currently contracting with this service visit: