Mental-health needs for children are often at the forefront of our national media coverage when tragic events occur. Early intervention with counseling is one of the best ways to address mental health for our children no matter the issue. Finding a counselor for a child can be a daunting task for a parent and locating available appointments that also match up with a family's insurance coverage can prove to be trying for parents and guardians.
As a member of the local nonprofit organization Teenager Anxiety and Depression Solutions and an employee of the Ayer Shirley School District, I would like to inform parents of a free counselor-matching service now available for any resident of Ayer and Shirley up to age 24. Thanks to the support of TADS, the Ayer-Shirley School District and local support from businesses and individuals, a two-year contract has been created with MSPP Interface referral service for Ayer and Shirley. Parents in these towns now have the ability to call MSPP Interface referral service and receive free assistance finding a local counselor for their child.
When in need of a counselor, you may call MSPP Interface Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 1-888-244-6843 and you will be greeted on the phone by a mental-health trained individual who will work with you through their comprehensive database to find available counselors for your child based on your schedule, insurance and your child's particular presenting issue. This is not a crisis line; at times of crisis, continue to call 911. You can find out more by visiting the Ayer and Shirley MSPP Interface site at www.msppinterface.org. You will also be able to view other local towns contracted with the MSPP Interface referral service.
On behalf of the children of Ayer and Shirley, I would like to thank the following businesses, organizations, and individuals for their financial support to see this project to fruition in Ayer and Shirley: Ayer-Shirley School District, Ayer-Shirley Education Foundation, Ayer Page Hilltop Parent Teacher Organization, BEMIS Inc., Dick Rakip, Friends of Nashoba Valley Medical Center, Janis Bresnahan Fund, North Middlesex Savings Bank, Madigan Family Foundation, St. Andrews Church.
Thank you also to Fidelity Bank for the funding of S.O.S. kits for the TADS-sponsored S.O.S. training workshops for area professionals who work with children.