Youth and Family Services promoting services to those in need and their need for volunteers

Southborough Youth and Family Services asked me to help them reach out to the community again. The agency published the 2nd issue of its newsletter to help educate the public on its services and initiatives.

You can read the full newsletter here. Or you can scan the highlights below, then see the flyer for more details on the areas that interest you.

New Year message from Sarah CassellThe cover features a message from Director Sarah Cassell. In the context of New Year’s resolutions, she gives readers a pep-talk on the importance of self-care. Here’s a brief excerpt:

Whether you are pushing the reset button on your self-care goals now or work hard on them year round, I encourage you to practice patience and acceptance.

(Click image for the full text.)

SYFS snow policyPage 2 thanks Southborough Community Fund for its sponsorship support of some important programs. It also outlines their policy for snow days/inclement weather (inserted right).

From there, the Helping Hand newsletter is basically a mix of promoting services to help the public and the department’s need for help from various kinds of volunteers.

Help offered by SYFS

SYFS Need Based ServicesPage 3 lists the following Needs Based Services for residents struggling financially:

  • Camperships
  • Smiling Kids Birthday Program
  • Fuel Assistance

That page is pictured right, and you can find more details on their website here.

Counseling ServicesPage 5 includes a description of Counseling and Referral Services for community members seeking Mental Health assistance for themselves or family members:

SYFS employs licensed mental health professionals and each year invites the additional support of two graduate- level Counseling Psychology Interns. Southborough residents and families may see one of our clinical staff for support for free confidential counseling services on matters such as depression, anxiety, divorce, stress management, communication skills, loss/grief, and more.

To meet our goal of offering support to as many residents as possible, counseling services are time-limited. For more information about counseling and referral services contact Sarah Cassell at

Other important local resources for residents/families in need are listed on page 7.

Mental Health First Aid Training

Mental Health AidOne item is a combination of offering and requesting help. The agency pitches that the community needs more adults with Mental Health First Aid knowledge and SYFS is offering to help train them:

One in five youth youth ages 12- 18 live with a mental health condition. That means in a group of 25 young people, 5 of them are impacted. That is why it is so important for adults to take Youth Mental Health First Aid, a course that teaches participants how to help young people experiencing a mental health or substance abuse challenge. Having a more informed community can dramatically help early intervention efforts and get youth the help they need when they need it.

SYFS staff are trained Youth Mental Health First Aid instructors. If you or your organization has an interest in participating in this training and/or learning more, please contact Sarah Cassell at

Help requested by SYFS

Call for Art and MusicThe newsletter also includes a Call for Art and Musicians.

In preparation for their Celebrate Wellness event during Mental Health Awareness month, SYFS is looking for related art submissions to display in the exhibition. Among restriction details:

Artwork should match the theme “Celebrate Wellness”–mental health, wellness, mindfulness, etc. being mindful that this is a family/community art show.

They will also need musicians to perform that night. The event will take place on May 28th. The application deadline for both is April 17th.

For details, see page 4 (also shown right).

Other ways volunteers can help are through the Friends of the Southborough Youth Commission, The Northborough-Southborough Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition, and Youth Council. Below are excerpts from the newsletter. See the pages referenced below for more details.

Friends of the Southborough Youth Commission (from page 6):

We are looking for people with a passion for this community who possess creativity and enthusiasm. Offer one hour of your time or take on a leadership opportunity as one of our officers. If you’re interested in learning more or have questions, please contact us at:

Youth Council – comprised of middle school aged residents (from page 7):

Members are currently planning for the creation of a video about SYC in collaboration with Southborough Access Media and bringing a fun food competition to Trottier. SYC is also working on recruiting new members, If you’re interested in learning more or participating, please contact the group at

That page also lists important community resources. Finally, it explains the agency’s involvement in

The Northborough-Southborough Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition (NSSAPC) (from page 7):

community members from both towns working together to reduce substance abuse and offer information for those needing substance abuse treatment. NSSAPC utilizes evidence-based strategies to promote healthy choices, educate the community, and foster resiliency for those in recovery.

The list of upcoming meeting dates can be found on page 6.

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