As we do each year, WYFS provides a free, confidential mental health screening to the community.
A Massachusetts-based organization, Screening for Mental Health, first initiated this screening effort in 1990. It grows yearly and is now worldwide. The founder, Douglas Jacobs, MD understood the importance of providing education about mental health and offering accessible mental health screening to the community. Early identification of symptoms allows treatment to be most effective. Through a Massachusetts Department of Public Health grant, we have been able to receive screening materials at no cost. In 2018, Screening for Mental Health merged with Riverside Community Care, a behavioral health care organization.
WYFS and Pastoral Counseling Centers of MA welcome community members to take part in this free, confidential screening event. The screening tool, a brief questionnaire, allows participants to learn whether their symptoms are consistent with one of four treatable mental health disorders, Depression, Anxiety, Bipolar Disorder, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Mental health counselors will be available to review participants' responses and offer suggestions about ways to follow up. A resource list of local providers will be distributed to help participants identify their next steps. Please allow about 30 minutes per screening.
As education is an important part of National Depression Screening Day, the WYFS office will offer extensive materials related to mental health. All are welcome to browse and take home materials that interest them, regardless of whether they plan to participate in a screening. Counselors will be available throughout the day to answer questions.
So that we may provide you with adequate time for your screening, kindly phone us at 508-366-3090 or email us to reserve a time slot. Walk-ins are welcomed as well. Screenings for children and adolescents require a parent or legal guardian to be present. Anyone who desires a screening or has other questions related to mental health may also contact us about scheduling an appointment on another day, if October 11th is inconvenient. Screenings will be held at the WYFS office at the Central One Federal Credit Union, 40 South Street, 2nd Floor, Westborough.
Mental Health Screenings Available at Anytime
If you are unable to make the screenings for Depression, Anxiety, Bipolar Disorder, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, don't worry. We offer these screenings all year long. Just call the office at 508-366-3090 or email us to arrange a confidential screening with one of our Counselors. These screenings are free and will result in a recommendation about whether there is a concern that requires a more in-depth evaluation or not. We can provide referrals for further evaluation. We also have a wide range of literature on a variety of mental health topics available in the office for free.
Ways to Recognize Mental Health Concerns in Your Child
Counselors at WYFS know firsthand that children and adolescents do worry about family finances or other adult concerns when they notice that their parents are stressed. They often carry this worry internally and choose not to discuss their concerns at home.
Anxiety, stress, and depression in children and teens can manifest in many ways including:
- A decreased ability to concentrate
- A drop in school grades
- Uncharacteristic or excessive irritability
- Stomachaches or headaches; moodiness
- Interpersonal problems with peers
- Difficulty handling daily stressors
- Frequent sadness or hopelessness
- Low energy or boredom
- Low self-esteem
- Changes in eating or sleeping habits
- Substance use or other unsafe behaviors
Taking On Depression
This is a series dealing with depression in which we explore a variety of lifestyle changes that can help combat the effects of depression; these changes include exercise, exposure to sunlight, better diet and sleep, and social connections. These articles are taken from our Newsletter in 2015.