FRAMINGHAM – Residents seeking mental health services starting today, can call a new hotline.
The Town of Framingham signed a 2-year, $25,000 contract with Newton-based William James College.
The contract gives the town’s residents access to the College’s INTERFACE referral Service, a helpline Mondays through Fridays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The numbers are 617-332-3666 ext 1411 or 888-244-6843 ext 1411.
The helpline is NOT for emergenies, although staff are trained to handle those-type of calls. Those seeking immendiate needs should call National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 or the 24-hour operated Call2Talk at 508-532-2255.
The INTERFACE helpline matches callers with mental health issues with the INTERFACE’s database of more than 5,000 providers to connect the caller to mental health professionals based on the caller’s specific needs for location, insurance, and availability.
Framingham joins now joins 53 communities in the Commonwealth using the INTERFACE referral service.
“There is so much need for this in Framingham,” said Framingham Veterans Agent Peter Harvell.
Harvell said this will be a “great service” for returning Veterans, older Veterans in the community, and Framingham, in general.
Funded by a grant, INTERFACE referral service began in Newton in 2003. Three years later, William James College created the Freedman Center for Child and Family Development, and in 2007 acquired the referral service from the Newton Public Schools to become a part of the Freedman Center.
The helpline is staffed by both licensed mental health professionals as well as doctoral students at the College, explained Maraget Hannah, the exceutive director of the Freedman Center. Staffers can provide help in English, Spanish, and Portuguese.
Hannah met with school and community leaders yesterday at the United Way of Tri-County office on Park Street. Call2Talk Director Eileen Davis is the town’s point person with INTERFACE.
One roadblock to get the needed mental health help is that some providers have long wait lists, don’t accept new patients, may not take an individual’s insurance. This new referral service helps to eliminate those issue.
The servic eis for outpatient services only. It can not help someone secure a bed in a facility.
What happens when someone calls the helpline?
- Intake: When you call, you will speak with a resource and referral counselor and you will be asked to complete a confidential intake. You will be asked for some basic contact information, information about yourself or your child, your insurance information, your or your child’s availability to meet with someone, and general information about what you are concerned about. The length of time to complete the intake varies but should take about 15-20 minutes.
- Making a match:After the intake is completed, you will be assigned a case number for use as your reference in calls with INTERFACE. This is to protect your confidentiality. INTERFACE counselors begin a search for a match by utilizing a tailored search process in the database, as well as other resources to find the service you have requested. You can expect that your resource and referral counselor will be in touch with you in the first few business days after your call to update you on the status.
- Providing matches: Once a match has been identified, an INTERFACE counselor will call you and/or email you the information including the provider’s name, credentials, location, and phone number. The INTERFACE counselor may also provide links to guides on our website that may be helpful, including information about how to choose a mental health provider. The INTERFACE Referral Helpline is committed to making a match within two weeks of receiving the intake, and counselors usually provide you with 2-3 matches.
- Following-Up:After you have received the matches, one of the INTERFACE counselors will follow up with you within 2 weeks to see if you have been able to connect with the provider(s), and if so, how it is going. INTERFACE Referral Helpline is committed to honoring your voice and choice, and will follow-up with you until you feel you have found a successful match. The number of times you receive a follow-up may vary depending on how quickly a match is made.
- Closing a referral: Once you feel you have found a successful match, the INTERFACE referral counselor will close the referral process with you. However, if you need additional support in the future for other referrals or if the match does not work out for some reason, please know that you can always call the Helpline again.
Besides the hotline the college also maintains a website that features mental health articles and resources. Visit it at www.interface.williamjames.edu