The Freedman Center for Child & Family Development
Families too often find it difficult to access mental health services for their children due to a critical shortage of providers and the absence of a community of support and sharing.
The Richard I. and Joan L. Freedman Center for Child and Family Development was established at The Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology (MSPP) to help connect children and families with appropriate information, providers, resources, and one another to serve their mental health and wellness needs.
Creating a strong community of support to promote mental health and wellness involves a multi-faceted approach.† The Freedman Center offers services to meet these multiple needs:
- Accessible and quality programming for children and families
- Continuing education programs for professionals.†
- Consultation to and collaboration with community partners, including schools, organizations, and physicians
- Culturally and linguistically sensitive approach to the creation and delivery of all services
- Training of future mental health providers
- Participation in state and legislative initiatives and social advocacy
Freedman Center Services & Programs
Primary Project is a nationally-known, evidenced based preventive mental health program designed to enhance positive skills and reduce difficulties in preschool through primary grade children. Participants-identified through careful screening-are those who are at risk of, but not experiencing, social-emotional or school adjustment problems. Throughout the school year, participants meet with a Child Associate (CA) in individual child-led expressive play sessions, where they become aware of their feelings, experience a sense of self-acceptance, enjoy supportive interaction with the CA, and develop positive feelings about school. CA's receive special training and are supervised closely by MSPP faculty and in collaboration with school based professionals.
MSPP INTERFACE℠ is an initiative to improve the integration of mental health and wellness services between school systems, agencies, and community members for the benefit of children, adults, and families. The primary goal of INTERFACE℠ is to enhance, improve, or develop collaborative efforts for mental health and wellness access and service.
One key feature of MSPP INTERFACE℠ is the helpline service for families. The helpline is available from Monday through Friday from 9 AM to 5 PM, and is staffed by mental health professionals.† Through the helpline, families receive confidential consultation, guidance, and resource and referral information.† INTERFACE℠ staff assist families in finding mental health provider matches that meet the presenting issue, insurance or payment needs, time preference and location needs. Follow-up services are provided until the child, adult, and/or family is stabilized.†††
Another important feature of MSPP INTERFACE℠ is its extensive website featuring articles and resources on mental health and wellness topics impacting children and families.† The website also offers event listings and other free resources. www.msppinterface.org
Community and Continuing Education
The Freedman Centerís Community Education programs are designed for parents and families as resources for navigating the many issues faced by children of all ages, from infancy to 18 years. These programs include:
- New Parents Groups
- New Mothers Groups
- Groups for Parents of Adolescents
- Special Topic Groups
"The New Moms group provided me a safe and non-judgemental place to ask questions and meet other new moms facing the same joys and worries.† It helped to boost my confidence as a new mother."
†- Katie O'Hare, New Moms Group Participant
The Freedman Center offers Continuing Education* for professionals and organizations, supplying the knowledge and skills they need to partner with families in addressing mental health issues and promoting wellness. These services include:
- Workshops and trainings on topics such as cyberbullying, infant-toddler parent intervention and stress/anxiety management.
- Consultation to schools and community agencies with goals such as building prevention programs, creating collaboratives and responding to State mandates.
*MSPP provides Continuing Education credits to psychologists, social workers, nurses, educators and other mental health professionals. View the current CE catalogue at www.mspp.edu/ce
MSPP Student Training
MSPP students graduate with diverse portfolios of experience. We provide an integrated academic program with intensive supervised clinical practice. This integrative model enables our students to develop a mastery of academic psychology along with the clinical skills necessary to succeed in their professional lives. As our students learn, they bring direct service to underserved populations at over 200 training sites.
The Freedman Center offers unique training opportunities for students from all MSPP graduate programs.
"Working at the Freedman Center has developed my clinical expertise in a nurturing and challenging environment. Every day I see how access to care is a vital part of care. It is an invaluable experience to help families access quality mental health and wellness support which in turn informs my academic and clinical learning."
-Ember Cook, Clinical PsyD student