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Powered by Purpose: In the Spirit of Gratitude

As we begin this season of gratitude, I am buoyed by the clear commitment from leaders across the Commonwealth to address the long-haul impact of the COVID pandemic on mental health. I am thankful that the stigma, discrimination, and ignorance that has long surrounded our public (and private) understanding of mental health needs is beginning to fall away. Read more.


Senate Passes Mental Health ABC Act 2.0

The MA Senate passed the Mental Health ABC Act 2.0 (S.2572) on Nov. 17, taking an important next step toward ensuring that all residents of the Commonwealth can get the right care at the right time for mental health and substance use conditions. Learn more.


MAMH Joins National Leaders to Promote Consensus Plan for 988 Crisis Hotline

This month, MAMH joined 14 of the nation’s leading mental health organizations to release a consensus plan to guide implementation of 988 – a new crisis hotline scheduled to be operational nationwide in July 2022. Learn more.


What is 9-8-8?

In July 2020, the Federal Communications Commission designated a new, nationwide, 3-digit phone number for individuals in behavioral health crisis: 9-8-8. If implemented effectively – and in conjunction with other community-based solutions and investments – 9-8-8 operators could dispatch support such as mobile crisis intervention teams of behavioral health professionals and peer support. These approaches minimize the need for police response and reduce risks associated with police interventions and potential arrests.

Anyone who has tried to receive help for a mental health crisis will vouch for the many flaws that exist in our current system, in which 9-1-1 often is the only option available. To learn more, read MAMH partner Monica Luke's guest blog explaining the importance of 9-8-8. 


Safe Havens Help End Homelessness 

Each night, more than 1,450 adults without children are chronically homeless in the Commonwealth. MAMH joined MA Sen. Jo Comerford and Reps. Elizabeth Malia and Lindsay Sabadosa to educate lawmakers about Safe Havens, which are designed to serve hard-to-reach, hard-to-engage individuals who are chronically unhoused with severe and often co-occurring mental health and substance use conditions. Learn more.


November is Children's Grief Awareness Month

One of every 15 children in Massachusetts will have a parent or sibling die before graduating from high school. Do you know a child or teen who has experienced a recent death loss? Check out the Children's Room's resource page, which includes tools focused on supporting children and teens in school. Read more.

Legislative Updates

The Mental Health ABC Act 2.0 passed by the Senate last week includes landmark advancements in meeting the mental health needs of residents of the Commonwealth. Many of the bill's provisions are essential components of MAMH's Legislative Agenda, including parity enforcement, private insurance coverage of emergency services programs (ESPs), and 988 and 911 behavioral health crisis reform. MAMH continues to advocate to expand access to services, decriminalize mental health conditions, and promote wellness. Click bill numbers below to read our testimony on these critical issues:

  •  End Emergency Department Boarding. S.107 would help children and adolescents receive timely, clinically appropriate behavioral health treatment  in  community-based therapeutic settings and supports.

  • Promote Supported Decisionmaking. S.124/H.272 would establish a legal framework for supported decision-making agreements in Massachusetts, allowing the Commonwealth to join a growing number of states that provide statutory recognition of this important decision-making tool.

  • Provide Substance Use Treatment in Hospitals, Not Prisons. Although not identical, S.1285 and H.2066 would amend Section 35 of Chapter 123 to ensure that individuals who are involuntarily committed for substance use treatment are housed and treated in a hospital, rather than prison or jail.

Learn more about MAMH's advocacy priorities on the Take Action page of our website! 
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MAMH Awarded Grant to Promote Pediatric Behavioral Health Urgent Care

MAMH received a $3 million grant from Mass General Brigham to develop and implement a services grant program for Pediatric Behavioral Health Urgent Care over the next four years. The project will support partnerships between behavioral health agencies and schools in diverse communities to protect children and adolescents from serious crises, emergency care, and unnecessary hospitalization. Read more.


Sharing a Season of Thanks and Giving

With the holiday upon us, we are reminded of the many ways we each can give back to communities and causes. You can make a difference by sharing your time, kindness, skills, and voice. This holiday season, check in with others to let them know they're not alone. 

Research Updates

Individuals with mental health and substance use conditions were more adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic than those without these conditions, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's  (SAMHSA) 2020 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH). Read more

Suicide is the second leading cause of death among adolescents and young adults in the U.S. Research suggests that higher levels of emotional regulation achieved through dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is effective in reducing suicide attempts and self-injury among adolescents at high risk. Read more.

Career Opportunities

MAMH is seeking a Managing Director for Network of Care Massachusetts. The Managing Director will help set the vision and implement strategies to expand and improve Network of Care Massachusetts’ ability to connect individuals and families with information and resources to support their behavioral health and social services needs. Learn more and apply here!



Even as we continue to minimize physical interaction with others to help control the spread of COVID-19, we can continue to stay engaged, learn new things, and connect with others in our community. Take advantage of the many opportunities for free, online training and resources! 

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

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

617.742.75452 | info@mamh.org
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