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The internet is full of reminders that July is BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color) Mental Health Awareness Month. At MAMH, that means bringing awareness to both the strengths they possess and the challenges people of color face in maintaining and supporting their mental health, and it reminds us why culturally responsive services are so important. Learn more about BIPOC Mental Health Awareness Month here.


FY23 State Budget. A Conference Committee has been appointed to reconcile the differences between the MA Senate and House versions of the FY23 budget. Help ensure the Behavioral Health Trust Fund to support the state's new "front door" to behavioral health services staffed 24/7 each week and funding for Network of Care Massachusetts remain in the final bill! Take action here!


Mental Health Reform Bills Now in Conference Committee

Thanks to your advocacy, Massachusetts is poised to adopt mental health reform legislation that would create a new Office of Behavioral Health Promotion and Prevention, require insurers to cover annual mental wellness exams, and ensure that Emergency Departments have mental health professionals available during operating hours to evaluate and stabilize patients.

These provisions and other important changes are included in mental health bills already adopted by the state House and Senate. A Conference Committee appointed to negotiate differences between the two bills is expected to complete its work before formal legislative sessions conclude at the end of July.

Both bills make important improvements to support mental health and wellness across the Commonwealth. Learn more about the bills and MAMH's positions on the most important issues here. 


Mental Health Education


Understanding and maintaining mental health is a life-long process that is essential to health and well being. At MAMH, we believe it's never too early to start learning how to take care of our mental health, and we have long advocated for mental health education to be taught as a core feature of K-12 health education curricula.

For many students and their families, summer is the perfect time to get started building skills and learning about resources to help them with this journey. That's why we're launching new mental health education pages on the MAMH website, providing resources for students, caregivers, and others looking to learn more about K-12 mental health and common mental health experiences.

On the hub, you'll find resources including written articles and books, activities, videos, podcasts, apps, and more on a variety of topics and strategies to help maintain positive mental health - and to learn when and how to ask for help. Learn more and find mental health education resources here! 


LGBTQ+ Specific Resources

The LGBTQ+ community continues to face stigma, discrimination, and bias in many forms, which contributes to increased rates of mental health conditions. Check out the following organizations doing great work to support the LGBTQ+ community!

The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ+ youth.

Boston Alliance of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, & Transgender Youth (BAGLY) is a youth-led, adult-supported social support organization committed to social justice, and creating, sustaining and advocating for programs, policies, and services for LGBTQ+ youth 22 and under.

Greater Boston PFLAG offers help for LGBTQ+ youth, their families, and communities around the topic of sexual identity. They also offer support groups in different locations throughout Massachusetts.

Gay, Lesbian, & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) is a national organization making schools safer for all students, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. They work to educate teachers, students, and the public at large about the the importance of a healthy school climate free of homophobia and heterosexism.


Older Adult Behavioral Health


July marks the one year anniversary of the Older Adult Behavioral Health Network (OABHN)! The mission of the OABHN is to highlight and elevate the importance of behavioral health in Massachusetts, to improve the lives of older adults, and support community living. MAMH supports OABHN in its efforts to promote older adult behavioral health advocacy statewide.

Learn more about OABHN here.


Strategies to Support Older Adult Mental Health. Most older adults experience positive mental health, but those who are struggling alone often experience higher levels of disability and insitutionalization. In 2020, Americans who were 85 or older had the highest suicide rates of any age group. Last month the United States Senate Special Committee on Aging held a hearing to raise awareness, address stigma, and provide support and next steps at the national level to address and better support the mental health of older adults. Watch the full hearing and read written testimony here.


Promoting Healthy Aging Through Mindfulness. Age does not define who we are. Our bodies are part of our wholeness and have a lot to teach. Our bodies help us recognize that as life progresses and things change, we can still make the most of the moment. Learn from longtime mindfulness practitioner and teacher Yasemin Isler about mindfulness and how it can help us with aging in our recent blog. Want to learn more? Register for our upcoming mindfulness and aging webinar here.


Looking Ahead...


Someone to talk to, someone to respond, and somewhere to go. On July 16, 988 will go live as a nationwide 3-digit hotline for anyone in emotional distress or suicidal crisis. Trained counselors, who are not clinicians, will be available 24/7, 365 days a year, to provide free emotional support to callers. This will be further strengthened by the state's own Behavioral Health Helpline, set to go into effect early 2023. Learn more here.


Research and News of Note

The World Health Organization (WHO) released its largest review of world mental health since the turn of the century. The report urges mental health decision makers and advocates to increase actions to change attitudes, actions, and approaches to mental health, its determinants, and mental health treatment. Learn more about the WHO report here.

Behavioral health needs of older adults are often not identified or addressed, despite approximately 20% of older adults meeting criteria for some type of mental health diagnosis. Learn more about current barriers and strategies to improve behavioral health care for older adults here.

Climate change poses serious risks to mental health and well-being. The WHO is urging countries to include mental health support in their responses to the climate crisis. Learn about recommended actions here.

Researchers identified how the brain triages emotions during sleep to consolidate the storage of positive emotions while dampening the consolidation of negative ones, emphasizing the importance of sleep to mental health. Learn more about the study here.

Nearly all older adults have experienced some sort of ageism in their everyday lives, a new study finds, but older adults who have worse physical health or mental health, and those with more chronic conditions, are more likely to have experienced ageism in many forms. Learn more about the impact of ageism here.


Massachusetts DMH Career Opportunities

Director of Recovery and Employment (Western MA area). Learn more and apply here.

Behavioral Health Helpline Director (DMH Central Office). Learn more and apply here.



Take advantage of the many opportunities for in-person and online training across the Commonwealth! 

Check out our Events page to see what's happening in the behavioral health community this month!

Interested in trainings for supporting older adults with behavioral health needs in the community? Check out our Older Adult Behavioral Health Training Calendar!

617.742.75452 | info@mamh.org
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Massachusetts Association for Mental Health
50 Federal Street 6th Floor | Boston, Massachusetts 02110
(617) 742-7452 | kathyfranklin@mamh.org

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