SYFS News: In-Person resumes, Referrals on pause, new Parent Support Group, Camp Scholarship changes, Listen with L.O.V.E., and more

Above: SYFS’ news this month includes open registration for workshops to learn to Listen with L.O.V.E. and updates on the Camp Scholarship program (which could use support).

Southborough Youth and Family Services asked me to share their February bulletin. Below are some highlights.

The bulletin includes news on the Referral Service, a weekly Support Group for parents, changes to the Campership program, the delayed Listen with L.O.V.E. workshops, saving the date for Unplugging, and an update on the QPR program status. As usual, there’s also a video overview of the updates.

Resumed In-Person appointments (with virtual option)

In January, SYFS was one of the departments to hit pause on in-person interactions due to the uptick in Covid cases. They are now back to allowing in-person appointments (and programs with one exception):

As of January 31st, we are resuming all in-person services with the exception of a couple of our QPR Suicide Prevention Trainings. We will continue to require masks in our building at all times and social distancing of at least 6 feet for appointments. We appreciate everyone’s flexibility and understanding this past month with the need to move appointments online to keep everyone safe amid the rise in COVID cases. Online appointments are still available for anyone who feels more comfortable with that option. We are excited to welcome people back in to the office on a regular basis.

Mental Health Services Support – Referral intakes on hold until Feb 21st

While the department hit un-pause on in-person support, their contracted referral service for finding mental health providers hit pause on new intake referrals for a few weeks. As a stop gap measure, SYFS is reminding the public of support the department can directly provide.

Increased Demand Results in a Temporary Pause on New Intakes for Interface Referral Service

If you were not already aware, Southborough utilizes Interface Referral Service; a mental health and wellness referral helpline available to assist Southborough residents with finding mental health providers. . . 

Last week, we received the communication [here] from Interface stating that due an extraordinarily high demand in need, Interface will be implementing a temporary pause on any new intakes for referral support through Monday, February 21st 2022. . . 

We understand this may create some concern for people as finding an appropriate outpatient mental health provider is already quite difficult. We would like to remind residents of the mental health support services our office provides:

  • Clinical Consultations – a one time consultation with one of our clinicians
  • Assessments – 6-8 session time frame aimed at better defining and understanding a presenting issue. This includes appointments with the individual, family members, doctors, teachers, past and current providers. The assessment is completed with a formal assessment report outlining clinical recommendations.
  • Short-term “bridge” counseling support– short-term support available to those needing counseling services until a longer-term therapeutic solution is identified
  • Therapeutic groups and workshops

See the bulletin for more details.

New Parent Support Group this spring

Starting in March, we will be offering a parent support space every Tuesday during lunch. As several of us are parents ourselves, we know the task of parenting is challenging and also know it can be helpful to hear, you’re not alone. Join us for a space to vent, get good ideas, and decompress before going back to the very important job of parenting. Details below:

Tuesdays 12:30-1:30pm at 21 Highland St in Southborough
Starting March 8- May 17, 2022

Call Dawn Wisbey at (508) 481-5676 ext 4 with any questions.

Unfortunately, SYFS won’t be able to provide daycare for those with younger children.

Camp Scholarships 2022

Every year, SYFS encourages families who need financial assistance to apply for camp scholarships for their children. This year, there are a few changes. 

Camps are limited to ones based in Southborough (the Town’s Rec Camp, Southborough Extended Day Program, and Fay School Day Camp). For the Town camp, slots have already been filling up. So be sure to apply soon. 

I reached out for clarity on the reason for the change. Director Sarah Cassell explained that it is part of an effort to make the program more equitable for all participants. They are trying to provide scholarships to camps that are similar in value and experience. They are also trying to stretch their funds further. (Speaking of that, you can donate to support the program here.)

As part of the changes, scholarships will no longer fully cover the camp fees. Instead, discounts will be offered. (For the full details and the form to apply, see the bulletin.)

Learning to Listen with Love

In December, I wrote about SYFS program planned for January – A Listen With L.O.V.E. workshop on “The Art of Communication in Relationships”. That was postponed due to the Covid surge. Now it is rescheduled for March.

Listen wtih LOVEPositive communication is a critical element in relationship success and yet, it is something that challenges all of us. How do you support your loved one who is in distress? How do you get your needs met while still preserving important relationships? How do you persevere when your navigating challenging conversations with someone regularly? SYFS is offering the workshop, Listen With L.O.V.E: The art of communication in relationshipsto address some of these challenges and review critical elements of successful communication. This workshop is adapted from the Community Reinforcement and Family Training model. If you are a parent, spouse, friend, son or daughter, or simply a human in relationships with other humans, please consider joining us. After postponing the debut of this workshop we are happy to share we have two scheduled in March. Details below:

Wednesday, March 9th in-person at 21 Highland St Southborough 6-8pm
Saturday, March 19th in-person at 21 Highland St Southborough 9-11am . . .

If you have any questions about this training, please contact Shannon Kinayman at or (508) 481-5676 ext 3

Click here to register.

National Day of Unplugging – Save the Date

The annual call to take a break from screens will be from sundown Friday, March 4th to sundown Saturday, March 5th. (More details are in the bulletin.)

QPR Update

The Suicide Prevention program is proving to be very popular. So, popular that right now they’re only registering those waitlisted from earlier sessions. Stay tuned for new dates to be announced next month.

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