If I am sure that my child is not at immediate risk, what can I do to get help?

While your teen may not be at immediate risk, his behavior, mood, social relationships, or school functioning may indicate signs of emotional distress or substance abuse. Let your teen know about your worries and that you will be getting professional help from someone with whom you both will feel comfortable. In addition to seeking help from the sources listed below, it may also be helpful for parents to talk over their concerns with a trusted medical provider, school staff, pastoral representative, or friend for support and perspective.

Referrals to Counseling and Drug and Alcohol Treatment

Counseling for youth and family can be secured by contacting the following resources:

  1. Riverside Mental Health Center, 617 969 4925, is a private, not-for-profit agency which provides counseling and psychiatry as well as a range of other services to Needham residents. There is an intake process and there may be a waiting list. Riverside bills insurance and, once the insurance benefit is used up, the clients.
  2. Primary Care Medical Providers have networks of mental health providers to whom referrals are regularly made.
  3. Needham Youth Commission, Jon Mattleman, Director, 781 455 7518 provides information, counseling and referrals for Needham youth and families.
  4. Needham Public School’s Guidance Department (or private school's counseling/guidance department) will help you make a referral for your teen and provide support in school. Contact your child’s assigned counselor. If you do not have a name, contact Tom Denton, Director of Guidance, Needham, 781 455- 0800 x2130 for information.
  5. Other options: Local private practice professionals and outpatient psychiatry departments such as those at Children’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital.

Counselors or psychotherapist should be licensed by the state of Massachusetts and can be trained in disciplines including psychology, social work, and psychiatric nursing. These practitioners can have areas of specialization. Interview a prospective therapist to find out about their practice and to determine whether he/she is the right fit for you and your child.

Help Navigating the System

A comprehensive resource for children’s mental health can be found at  If you would like some support or advice navigating the children’s mental health system, you can call the PAL’s ( Parent Professional Advocacy League) PRN help line. 1-866-815-8122. If you believe that your insurance company is not providing care that it should or that you are not able to access eligibility for services from public agencies such as the Department of Mental Health, the Health Law Advocates  617-338-5241 provides free advocacy within certain income guidelines and referrals to skilled attorneys for families with greater resources.



Hurting yourself is NEVER
the right answer.
There are people who can help.

For immediate help call
911 or

Riverside Emergency Services

Newton Wellesley Hospital

To talk with someone call
Samariteen Hotline
1-800-252-TEEN (8336)

Samaritan Helpline
1-877-870-HOPE (4673)

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
1-800-273-TALK (8255)

Support and Help Around You