Independent Survey of MSPP INTERFACE Referral Service Confirms Need for Access and Value of Helpline

MSPP received funding by the Klarman Family Foundation to provide an independent survey of the service. This grant funded an evaluation that included analyses of both processes and outcomes. MSPP INTERFACE collaborated with Social Science Research and Evaluation, Inc. to conduct the evaluation.

Between September 2011 and May 2012, information from 413 case records was tracked to learn more about patterns among those looking for services from the INTERFACE Referral Helpline. Between February 2012 and June 2012, primary contacts for cases (sometimes the person seeking service, a parent seeking services for a child, or a school social worker seeking services for a child) were invited to participate in an online survey that asked them about their experiences with the INTERFACE Referral Helpline. There was a 43% response rate to the survey. The results shown below are noteworthy.

Some of the selected key learnings from those data:

(i) People contact the MSPP INTERFACE Referral Helpline to address a variety of mental health needs.

  • Intake case records indicated that many people were looking for help with stress or anxiety (27%), depression (26%), ADD/ADHD (15%), family crisis (12%), divorce (10%), or violent/aggressive behavior (10%), but there were a broad range of issues and concerns for which families were seeking specialized care.
  • In most cases, people were seeking individual therapy (75%), but some also wanted psychiatric treatment (7%), family or couple’s therapy (4%), or other interventions.
  • Most people were interested in appointments after school (46%) or in the evening (28%).

(ii) The MSPP INTERFACE Referral Helpline is an important resource for locating a mental health provider.

  • 58% of primary contact respondents reported that they tried to find a mental health provider on their own before contacting the INTERFACE Referral Helpline.
  • 94% of primary contact respondents reported that the Helpline was important in helping them address their mental health concern, when considered along with all the other resources they may have used.
  • When Helpline counselors closed cases, they reported that 56% of targets were meeting with one of the providers matched through the Helpline. During the follow up survey, 81% of primary contacts reported that targets were meeting with mental health providers referred through the Helpline.

(iii) The MSPP INTERFACE Referral Helpline was able to match people with mental health providers who met their needs.

  • Almost all primary contact respondents were satisfied that they were matched with providers who: had expertise in their area of concern (96%); met personal characteristics, like requested gender, language, and professional training (98%); was in a convenient location (100%); was available at convenient times (97%); and took their insurance (99%).
  • 86% of primary contacts said that from their perspective the match was a good fit overall, and 77% thought that the match was a good fit overall from the perspective of the target for the mental health service.

(iv)The MSPP INTERFACE Referral Helpline counselors were knowledgeable, concerned, and efficient.

  • 99% of primary contact respondents felt that Helpline counselors were knowledgeable about their mental health concerns, and 97% felt that counselors were knowledgeable about available mental health services.
  • 100% of primary contact respondents felt that Helpline counselors were concerned about the wellbeing of the person needing services, 98% felt that counselors were concerned about finding a good match. • 100% of primary contact respondents said Helpline counselors listened carefully to their needs, 98% said counselors understood what kind of mental health care they were seeking, and 99% felt that counselors made their case a priority.
  • 100% of primary contact respondents felt that Helpline counselors kept them up to date during the referral process, and 98% felt that counselors were working quickly to find a referral. • On average, counselors spent 1½ hours on each case, including intake, referral, follow up and paperwork. A few cases took less than 15 minutes (1%) or more than 4 hours (1%), but most took between 1 and 2 hours (61%).
  • On average, cases were closed within 35 days after the initial request was received.

Disclaimer: Material on the MSPP INTERFACE Referral Service website is intended as general information. It is not a recommendation for treatment, nor should it be considered medical or mental health advice. The MSPP INTERFACE Referral Service urges families to discuss all information and questions related to medical or mental health care with a health care professional.