Jeffrey J. Marsden, Superintendent
459 Main St., Unit 3,
Medfield, MA 02052
For Immediate Release
Tuesday, June 18, 2019
Media Contact: Benjamin Paulin
Email: [email protected]
Medfield Public Schools Seeing Improved Mental Health Wellness with Use of INTERFACE Referral Services
MEDFIELD — Superintendent Jeffrey Marsden is pleased to announce that the Medfield Public School’s use of the INTERFACE Referral Services program has continued to grow, while helping to improve the mental health and wellness of students throughout the district and beyond.
Since November 2017, over 110 Medfield students and residents have accessed the INTERFACE Referral Service Helpline. The service, provided by William James College in Newton, provides a referral helpline that parents and residents can call to assist them with navigating the mental health system by streamlining the process of finding mental health professionals in their area.
The helpline is available to all Medfield Public Schools students and residents of the town who are dealing with mental health issues.
“INTERFACE has helped ease the burden of families during what can be incredibly stressful times,” said Medfield School Committee Chair Anna Mae O’Shea Brooke, who also serves on the Medfield Coalition for Suicide Prevention. “It can sometimes take countless phone calls and hours on hold trying to find the right therapist that is covered by your insurance and works within your schedule. INTERFACE helps immensely to ease those burdens and streamline the process. We are so very fortunate in Medfield to have this service available to those who need it.”
Sara Drumm, the parent representative for the Medfield Coalition for Suicide Prevention, believes that access to the referral helpline has helped introduce people to the wide variety of local resources that are available to people struggling with mental health issues.
“Since we have introduced this program in our town, we have worked to spread the word and let our community know that INTERFACE and other resources exist to support and promote mental health and wellness,” Drumm said. “Our discussions and updates have gone a long way towards reducing the stigma around this topic. What we have seen since this program has been available is that it is being heavily utilized by people of all ages, including our youth. I believe this is important to our school community as we know that many of our kids struggle to balance their many commitments during their school years and beyond, and this is understandably a difficult balance that can lead to anxiety and other health issues for many.”
Chelsea Goldstein-Walsh is the Interim Director of Medfield Youth Outreach and a member of the Medfield Coalition for Suicide Prevention. For her, the value of the program is immense when considering that it is open to every student and resident in Medfield who is seeking assistance with issues of mental health.
“The INTERFACE program reduces barriers to access for mental health treatment, which supports the overall mental health and emotional wellness of the entire Medfield community,” Goldstein-Walsh said.
To reach the helpline, call 1-888-244-6843, ext. 1, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“The INTERFACE program has made a great impact on the overall social-emotional wellness at our schools. One thing we’ve learned from the data we have received thus far, along with the people from INTERFACE telling us, is that Medfield has done a great job of spreading the word about this fantastic service and we hope that continues,” Superintendent Marsden said. “When asked where people who utilize the program heard about INTERFACE, the responses run the gamut from our schools to town employees to state organizations to local service providers and groups in town. It’s truly great to see that people are aware of this vital service and are using it to get the help they need for themselves and their loved ones.”
For those who would like to donate to the Medfield Coalition for Suicide Prevention, please visit www.medfieldfoundation.org/give.