Earlier, I wrote about helping my son cope with anxiety—when I’m an anxiety-sufferer myself. Sometimes, though, parents need reinforcements, which are hard to find when wait-lists for time-strapped therapists are months long and many services aren’t covered by insurance.
Here’s a handy guide to getting help for your child or yourself.
Try the Massachusetts Child Psychiatry Access Program. Their goal is to improve access to treatment for children with behavioral health needs and their families by making child psychiatry services accessible to primary care providers across Massachusetts. They offer many resources for connecting families with care, including information on mobile crisis intervention. Call 1-877-382-1609 any time for crisis assessment, intervention and short-term stabilization.
Visit the William James INTERFACE Referral Service, a mental health and wellness referral Helpline available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. at 888-244-6843. This is a free, confidential referral service for residents of participating communities. Callers are matched with licensed mental health providers from their extensive database roughly within two weeks of their call.
McLean Hospital in Belmont maintains a robust child and adolescent mental health program, including niche programs for issues such as OCD and anxiety. Even if you don’t need an appointment, their site offers lots of accessible resources about common childhood mental health issues, including picky eating and back-to-school nerves. So does Boston Children’s Hospital.
Mental Health Access powered by CJP works to improve access to mental health services, raise awareness and destigmatize mental health issues across the Jewish community. Call 781-693-5562 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness in Massachusetts offers so many resources for families, including ways to find free therapy-matching services, family support groups, teen-specific treatments and even sibling support groups. They’re a wonderful local resource and a deeply supportive community. They also accept volunteers!
Last but definitely not least, check out our suite of articles about teens and mental health—because sometimes it really helps just to know you’re not alone.