Needham Youth Commission

Needham Youth Commission

1471 Highland Avenue - Town Hall
Needham, MA 02492
Phone: 781-455-7518
Fax: 781-449-4569

Hours: Monday - Friday 8:30 am - 5:00 pm; Evenings by appointment

Founded in 1967 by concerned residents, the Needham Youth Commission has earned the respect of the community for its dedication to providing quality services. Over the past three decades, as the needs of youth and families have evolved, the Youth Commission has kept pace by offering relevant programs and clinical services.

Presently, the Needham Youth Commission operates as a mental health resource providing professional and confidential clinical and programmatic services. We provide support, information, and direction to youth on issues such as family, social, peer, stress, loss, alcohol, drug, and other youth-related concerns. We base our services upon a self-help philosophy in which youth utilize the expertise of the staff to expand their awareness and understanding, and eventually learn the skills to more effectively take control of their lives.

The community’s support of the Youth Commission is critical if we are to remain a stable and effective organization.

Clinical Services

Individual and Family Counseling

Individual and family counseling is available from our trained and committed staff. Our clinicians provide confidential services with skill and sensitivity. If for any reason we cannot be of support, we provide referrals to organizations with the resources to be of assistance. We accept referrals from the schools, courts, and parents. Youth who desire support can contact us directly.

Group Therapy

We have designed and implemented numerous child and adolescent groups directed by our staff and in collaboration with school professionals. We have extensive experience in the facilitation of groups, and are skilled at creating a safe environment in which young people can exchange ideas and information. Group counseling offers a unique opportunity for youth to gain insight into the process by which they and others think and interact. A sampling of past group topics include: divorce, social skills, decision-making, and family relationships.

Substance Abuse Awareness Program

This 15-hour assessment, education, and intervention program takes an innovative approach to the broad topic of alcohol and drugs. Participants work to accurately identify their current levels of use, as well as the internal and external motivations for their destructive behavior. We provide relevant educational resources, including mandatory attendance at an Alcoholics Anonymous Meeting, and work with participants to lay the foundation for healthy decisions regarding substances.

Seminars, Trainings, & Workshops

We provide the following large group training workshops to children, youth, and parents:

Babysitter Training Seminars 6 hour trainings on the basics of babysitting and safety
LINCS Program Workshops 2-3 hour trainings on the issue of "loss"
Anger/Violence Trainings 1-2 hour trainings on methods to "get off the anger escalator"
Harassment/Bullying Workshops 1 hour trainings on this harassment and bullying
Parent Discussion Groups 12 hour trainings for parents; also parents support groups

Programmatic Services

Employment Program

Our program assists young people in obtaining business and residential employment. It has been demonstrated that involvement in the "working world" aids in building responsibility and self-esteem in youth. Further, residents requiring assistance for around-the-house chores have discovered our program to be an invaluable resource. The Employment Program is available to residents every Tuesdays from 1:00-4:30 pm at our office. Senior citizens may also access the program at the Senior Center on the third Friday of each month (contact the Council on Aging for details).

Volunteer Program

We have compiled a listing of volunteer opportunities in Needham and the surrounding communities. Volunteering is an excellent way to give to the community while at the same time learning about a profession or business. The Volunteer Directory is available to residents every Tuesdays from 1:00-4:30 pm at our office.

Peer Tutor Program

This exciting youth-to-youth collaboration pairs high school volunteers with middle and elementary school students in need of academic/organizational assistance. Tutors complete an extensive orientation program, and meet weekly with students weekly in a public setting during the academic year.

Diversion/Restitution Program

Juveniles who commit minor violations of the law may have the option to provide community service. Working closely with the Dedham District Court and Needham Police, we assist youth and their families in exploring their offense, in developing more appropriate methods of making decisions, and in placing them in community services worksites.

Students Against Destructive Decisions

SADD focuses on the broad spectrum of destructive behaviors associated with teen decision-making. SADD members work to educate their peers and the larger community regarding healthy life choices and the power of positive decisions.

Project VAN

"VAN" (Volunteers Around Needham) is a summer group program designed to involve youth in volunteer opportunities. This program not only benefits the community, but is an empowering and confidence building experience for youth.

Ray of Hope

Created by the Needham Youth Commission in partnership with the Needham Business Association, the RAY of Hope Program (Recognize A Youth) was designed to identify young people who have performed outstanding service to the Needham community and/or who by their actions are excellent role models for their peers. Each month the Youth Commission will recognize one outstanding young person, coordinate a gift to that person from the Needham Business Association, and will work with the local press to inform the larger community of the recipient’s achievements. The RAY of Hope Program is a recognition that young people and their development are of critical importance to the functioning of the Needham community and our collective futures. To nominate a youth, please contact our office.


Youth Source Newsletter
Needham Youth Card Credit-card style listing of emergency telephone numbers
"Ask The Youth Commission" Bi-monthly column appearing in the Needham Times
Suicide Education Kit Information on the issue of suicide
Parent Guide to Teen Parties Ideas for parents to consider when hosting or sending their child to a party


Jon Mattleman, Director

MS Counseling

Michelle J. David, Social Worker


Nicole Lesser, Social Worker


Carol R. Rosenstock, Office Manager

BS Education


Lauren Russell, Clinical Intern MSW (pending)
Rebecca Robbinsl, Clinical Intern MSW (pending)
Lindsey DeBlois, Clinical Intern BS Human Services (pending)

Donna MacDonald, Senior Liaison


Merri Rubin, Clinical Consultant


Susan Patkin, Program Consultant



Deborah Winnick, Chairperson

Lorene Whyte, Vice-Chairperson

Joshua Brodsky

Sheede Khalil

Thomas Lambert

Barbara Popper

John Romeo

Colleen Schaller


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