WINCHESTER – In an effort to help connect children, adults and families with outpatient mental health and wellness resources, the Town of Winchester and The Winchester Coalition for a Safer Community are collaborating to launch the William James College INTERFACE Referral Service Helpline. The helpline will be available to Winchester residents beginning on Feb. 10, 2020.

INTERFACE Referral Service, a program of William James College, works to increase awareness of mental health issues and to facilitate access to appropriate outpatient mental health services. The INTERFACE Helpline, which is open Monday-Friday between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. assists callers by providing therapeutic matches to licensed, vetted outpatient mental health providers with timely openings. Therapeutic matches are made to a caller’s specific needs, insurance type, and location.

“When it comes to mental health concerns, many people do not know where to turn to find the right support,” said Dot Butler, Program Director for The Winchester Coalition for a Safer Community. “Others face obstacles such as identifying a provider that is accepting new patients, finding a service that is covered by insurance or addressing a specific need. We are launching INTERFACE Referral Service in Winchester to help address barriers that might prohibit residents from accessing appropriate outpatient mental health resources and services.”

The process begins with a confidential intake call with a resource and referral counselor where callers provide basic contact information, background about themselves or their minor child, insurance information, availability, and a summary of their concerns. The intake call typically takes about 15-20 minutes.

The Winchester Coalition is working closely with town and community leaders including schools, clergy, healthcare providers, senior centers, first responders, municipal services, and community services and non-profit organizations to inform and educate them about INTERFACE Referral Service.

“We are happy to be partnering with the Town of Winchester to bring better access to mental health services for residents in need,” said Tanya Snyder, Clinical Supervisor, INTERFACE Referral Service at William James College. “We aim to provide a referral within two weeks and we follow-up until we know a caller is safely within a therapeutic alliance.”

There is no limit to how many times an individual can utilize the service.

The Helpline is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. beginning on Feb. 10, 2020. To learn more about or to see other communities in Massachusetts currently contracting with this service visit: www.interface.williamjames.edu.

Special thanks to the John and Mary Murphy Foundation, ENKA Society, and Winchester Hospital/Beth Israel Lahey Health for providing funding to The Winchester Coalition for a Safer Community to help make this service available in Winchester.

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