Submitted by Bedford Youth and Family Services
Many Bedford residents are familiar with the counseling services offered by Bedford Youth and Family Services (BYFS) through a mental health contract the Town of Bedford has had with Eliot Community Human Services for nearly 30 years. Bedford residents are able to access professional counseling services at the BYFS offices at Town Center building on Mudge Way behind Bedford Town Hall or at the Eliot offices in Concord, MA. There is no charge for Bedford residents for seeing a therapist at either site though Eliot will utilize any behavioral health benefits on a resident’s health insurance. The Town of Bedford subsidizes the services for copays and for any resident who has no insurance, believing prevention of problems goes a long way to building a healthy community.
Residents may call the BYFS offices at 781-275-7727 to schedule an initial intake over the phone. Residents will speak with the Director or Clinical Coordinator to give some basic identifying information as well as presenting problem and health insurance. Residents usually get a call back in a week or 10 days to let them know the status of an available opening. Emergencies are taken into consideration as much as possible, and occasionally other options are suggested depending on the issue and safety risks.
Due to the increased request for services at BYFS and elsewhere in Massachusetts and the nation and often longer waiting lists for services than is acceptable, the Boston Globe did an article last week that featured some other options for services that may fit with some families. While they recommend checking with your Primary Care Provider (PCP) or school guidance staff for suggestions first, these other resources may prove helpful to you:
- Social Work Referral Network, 800-242-9794, or therapymatcher.wordpress.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- For list of local therapists try psychologytoday.com/us/therapists
- For lists of other therapists try zencare.co/massachusetts/therapists
- Another on-line resource is HelpPro.com
- For psychiatric emergency services close to us try masspartnership.com/member/ESP.aspx
- For psychiatric services for children try the Massachusetts Child Psychiatry Access Program at mcpap.org
- For substance abuse help, the best option is helplinema.org
Some communities belong to a service called Interface from William James College though the annual cost is high and Bedford has not deemed it relevant given the community support built into the contract the Town has with Eliot. Their website www.interface.williamjames.edu may be of interest or some help in certain situations. They are also available by phone Mondays through Fridays from 9 am to 5 pm at 888-244-6843.
For some residents, online sessions may be an option through Teletherapy sites, but caution is encouraged due to the dangers of sharing any confidential information over the internet. MA Health recently approved Telehealth for their Massachusetts clients, and that can be accessed with a referral from their PCP and www.mass.gov or by calling 800-841-2900.
Please do not hesitate to reach out to BYFS at 781-275-7727 if you have questions or think you or your family might need some help.