I was lucky enough to land a terrific work-study opportunity during my first few weeks at MSPP. I've been working at The Freedman Center ever since, doing a variety of things including leading a play group for toddlers and their parents. However, the main focus of my work involves Project INTERFACE, a mental health referral service for various towns around Massachusetts.
Project INTERFACE, under the leadership of Margaret Hannah and Nadja Reilly, contracts with different towns across the state to provide the referral service for children and adolescents. In some towns, adults and families are also able to use the service. In essence, a parent or school counselor calls Project INTERFACE and the staff, including MSPP students, completes an intake form. We then look through our extensive database of clinicians (psychologists, social workers, psychiatrists, etc.) to find someone who would be a good fit for the client, based on presenting issues, availability, and insurance. One of the ways that our service stands out is that we work with clinicians to set up a "professional profile" so that we know their areas of expertise, interests, and therapeutic approach.
Many of us understand the challenge faced by people who are looking for mental health care. It is difficult to access information about the clinicians listed on an insurance website and it can be very frustrating to make calls, only to hear that the person has no openings, is no longer on the insurance panel, or doesn't return the call at all. Project INTERFACE is a wonderful service as it takes this burden out of the hands of the families. We work hard to provide the family with 2-3 names; at that point, they simply need to call and set up the appointment.
Project INTERFACE also maintains a website with listings of mental health resources around the state. If you would like to learn more, including the communities currently served, check out the website: www.projectinterface.org