STAFF AT Wakefield’s Senior Center, pictured here, will be among those distributing resource bags for residents in need.

WAKEFIELD — The town’s Health Department recently launched an outreach initiative to increase awareness and utilization of public-health and human-service resources available to Wakefield residents. Outreach bags were assembled with an assortment of food from the Wakefield Food Pantry, two COVID-19 antigen tests, and a bilingual resource guide with contact information for local and statewide services.

The bags are being distributed to residents in need by Wakefield’s Council on Aging, Health Department, Beebe Library, Housing Authority, Police Department, Fire Department, Veterans Affairs, and Wakefield Public Schools. They will also be available via the State Department of Children and Family Services, State Department of Mental Health, and Eliot Community Services.

Among the services highlighted in the kits are mental health and wellness organizations. One such resource is the INTERFACE Referral Program, a free, confidential referral service that matches individuals with licensed mental health and wellness providers. Wakefield residents can call 1-888-244-6843 to obtain a referral that best meets their location, insurance, and specialty needs.

The Town also partners with Eliot Community Services, which provides mobile psychiatric evaluation, crisis intervention, stabilization, and follow up for those in acute psychiatric distress. Residents can connect with Eliot at 1-800-988-1111. This program serves children, adults, and elders in Wakefield.

Additional services promoted include grocery and meal resources and local housing and shelter options. In total, 200 outreach bags will be distributed over the coming months. If you or someone you know would benefit from one of these bags, please contact Catherine Dhingra in the Wakefield Health Department at 339-219-4034.

This project was made possible with a grant from MelroseWakefield Healthcare, in collaboration with Shields Surgery Center Medford.