NAMI Massachusetts Compass Helpline logo

The Compass Helpline at NAMI Massachusetts provides information and resources to help people navigate the mental health system and related systems of care, and problem solve in difficult circumstances. Compass is staffed by people with experience navigating the system for themselves or a family member. Learn more about what we do!

   Contact the Compass Helpline

    call us at 617-704-6264 or 1-800-370-9085
    email us at compass@namimass.org
    Monday through Friday, 9 am – 5 pm (excluding holidays)

Sometimes our call and email volumes are high, and we are not able to respond immediately. If you do not reach us right away by phone, please leave us a voicemail with your name, telephone number, a brief summary of why you’re calling, and the best time to call you back at. You can also email us with this information. We do our best to return voicemails and emails within 48 business hours, and we’ll try again if we don’t reach you back the first time!

You can visit our Navigating a Crisis page to find immediate ideas and resources for navigating a crisis that you or someone you support is experiencing. You can also visit our resource section to resources for a wide variety of topics and situations.

Learn More About the Compass Helpline

We welcome inquiries from

  • people dealing mental health symptoms
  • family members, partners, friends, and other supporters
  • people in peer and family support or recovery coach roles
  • mental health clinicians, health care providers, and care managers
  • people working for the Department of Mental Health and other state agencies
  • NAMI affiliate and program leaders
  • other information & referral services
  • police and other first responders
  • business owners and community leaders
  • educators, landlords, attorneys, clergy, and elected officials

Anyone is welcome to call or email us! We can’t answer every question or help with every situation, but we will try to get you to the next best step.

You can contact COMPASS about:

  • finding peer and family support
  • accessing mental health treatment
  • insurance issues
  • housing programs
  • help with employment
  • public benefits

.

  • transportation
  • police and the legal system
  • inpatient and discharge rights
  • substance use and addiction
  • supports for children and teens
  • special education and transition to adulthood

When you call or email Compass, we will:

  • ask you questions to learn more about the situation (all questions are voluntary)
  • help you identify concrete needs
  • offer immediate information, resources, ideas, and next steps when possible
  • research and follow up, when needed

 

When you reach out to Compass, you can expect:

  • to talk with a real person who’s been there
  • empathy and validation
  • resources and next steps to fit your needs
  • confidence that the details of your situation will be kept private

Compass cannot offer:

  • direct mental health care we are not mental health clinicians, but we can help you find mental health treatment options
  • provider recommendations we do not maintain lists of therapists or psychiatrists, but we can provide tools and support to help you find a provider
  • legal advice we are not attorneys, but we can provide basic information about your rights and refer to legal assistance in many areas
  • direct housing, employment, transportation, or financial assistance we can help you find resources for these and other needs
  • individual casework or advocacy we cannot meet with you in person or call someone or write letters on your behalf, but we can offer strategies for self advocacy and help you identify opportunities for care management and similar supports
  • resources that are not available or do not exist resources can be limited and people are sometimes left with unmet needs, but we will do our best to help you find alternatives
  • a guarantee that we will always be available Compass is not a crisis line, but we do our best to respond as soon as possible
Volunteer with the Compass Helpline

Compass is looking for some enthusiastic volunteers to join our Helpline team! Our volunteer projects include:

  • Helping to maintain the Compass resource collection – this includes checking current resources for accuracy, and researching new resources
  • Helping to support Compass outreach efforts – this includes helping to update Helpline promotional materials, and identifying and reaching out to contacts
  • Helping with surveys and needs assessments – this includes helping to set up surveys questions and analyzing results

These opportunities are virtual, and computer and reliable internet access are essential. We welcome people of all cultures, races, identities, and experiences. Volunteer to support the Compass Helpline – fill out our volunteer application!

Support for this project provided in part by:
Contact the Compass Helpline:

Compass Helpline
617-704-6264  or  1-800-370-9085
compass@namimass.org

Monday through Friday, 9 am – 5 pm (excluding holidays)
contact Compass directly for the quickest response

 

Jill Gichuhi
(she/her/hers)
Compass Helpline Director
617-580-8541 x 203
jgichuhi@namimass.org

contact Jill for questions about how Compass works, to requested Compass handouts or other resource materials, or for quality issues

 

Andrew Fishman
(he/him/his)
Compass Navigator

 

Jess Frisch
(she/her/hers)
Compass Navigator