In the first half of this year, the mental health help hotline set up by Steve and Deb Boczenowski’s Teenage Anxiety & Depression Solutions non-profit recorded two dozen calls for help or information from Groton residents and 10 from Dunstable, Steve Boczenowski told the Groton Board of Health last Monday. The program provider recently changed its name from Project INTERFACE to Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology INTERFACE Referral Service.
He wrote in an e-mail: “In addition to the six month report, I shared a satisfaction survey that INTERFACE had performed. The Board was pleased with the results of these reports. They asked the audience for questions, and FinCom member Steve Webber asked some general questions about INTERFACE. The Board also discussed the prospects of having this service funded by the town when the current contract held by TADS expires in December, 2013. Dr. Susan Horowitz opined that with the support of the BoH and the Selectmen, it was probable that the FinCom would support it also.”
The Boczenowskis were recently profiled in the regional edition of The Boston Globe for their work.
The initial report shows that the big majority of calls are coming from middle and high school students, which is the primary target audience and where the most promotion has taken place as the project ramps up.
The hotline is open during office hours, Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., at 617-332-3666 x 411 or (toll free) at 888-244-6843 x 411.
Groton Dunstable INTERFACE Activity Report 01/01/2012 -- 06/30/2012
Number of Cases
Total Cases: 34
Cases Per Town
Breakdown of Cases
Children 5-10 yrs: 5
Children 11-17yr: 21
Young Adult (18yr): 2
Older Adult: 2
*Note Over 60 yrs
Total Adults: 8
Total from Groton Dunstable Schools: 23
Boutwell Early Childhood: 0
Florence Roach Elementary: 2
Swallow Union Elementary: 1
Groton Dunstable Middle: 9
Groton Dunstable High: 11
Other Schools: 3
Academy of Notre Dame: 1
Francis Perkins: 1
Learned about PI Service:
Groton Dunstable Youth Alliance Day: 1
Previous User: 1
Presenting Reason / Issue
*(Note: some cases have overlapping issues, so the following numbers do not match up with the amount of cases).
INTERFACE Survey Results
Between September 2011 and May 2012, information from 413 case records was tracked to learn more about patterns among those looking for services from the INTERFACE Referral Helpline. Between February 2012 and June 2012, primary contacts for cases (sometimes the person seeking service, a parent seeking services for a child, or a school social worker seeking services for a child) were invited to participate in an online survey that asked them about their experiences with the INTERFACE Referral Helpline. There was a 43% response rate to the survey.
Some of the selected key learnings from those data:
(i) People contact the INTERFACE Referral Helpline to address a variety of mental health needs.
- Intake case records indicated that many people were looking for help with stress or anxiety (27%), depression (26%), ADD/ADHD (15%), family crisis (12%), divorce (10%), or violent/aggressive behavior
- (10%), but there were a broad range of issues and concerns for which families were seeking specialized care.
- In most cases, people were seeking individual therapy (75%), but some also wanted psychiatric treatment (7%), family or couple’s therapy (4%), or other interventions.
- Most people were interested in appointments after school (46%) or in the evening (28%).
(ii) The INTERFACE Referral Helpline is an important resource for locating a mental health provider.
- 58% of primary contact respondents reported that they tried to find a mental health provider on their
- own before contacting the INTERFACE Referral Helpline.
- 94% of primary contact respondents reported that the Helpline was important in helping them address
- their mental health concern, when considered along with all the other resources they may have used.
- When Helpline counselors closed cases, they reported that 56% of targets were meeting with one of the
- providers matched through the Helpline. During the follow up survey, 81% of primary contacts reported
- that targets were meeting with mental health providers referred through the Helpline.
(iii) The INTERFACE Referral Helpline was able to match people with mental health providers who met their needs.
- Almost all primary contact respondents were satisfied that they were matched with providers who: had
- expertise in their area of concern (96%); met personal characteristics, like requested gender, language,
- and professional training (98%); was in a convenient location (100%); was available at convenient times
- (97%); and took their insurance (99%).
- 86% of primary contacts said that from their perspective the match was a good fit overall, and 77%
- thought that the match was a good fit overall from the perspective of the target for the mental health
(iv) The INTERFACE Referral Helpline counselors were knowledgeable, concerned, and efficient.
- 99% of primary contact respondents felt that Helpline counselors were knowledgeable about their
- mental health concerns, and 97% felt that counselors were knowledgeable about available mental
- health services.
- 100% of primary contact respondents felt that Helpline counselors were concerned about the wellbeing
- of the person needing services, 98% felt that counselors were concerned about finding a good match.
- 100% of primary contact respondents said Helpline counselors listened carefully to their needs, 98%
- said counselors understood what kind of mental health care they were seeking, and 99% felt that
- counselors made their case a priority.
- 100% of primary contact respondents felt that Helpline counselors kept them up to date during the
- referral process, and 98% felt that counselors were working quickly to find a referral.
- On average, counselors spent 1½ hours on each case, including intake, referral, follow up and
- paperwork. A few cases took less than 15 minutes (1%) or more than 4 hours (1%), but most took
- between 1 and 2 hours (61%).
- On average, cases were closed within 35 days after the initial request was received.