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Massachusetts Ranked First for "State of Mental Health" - But Much Work Remains

Massachusetts was ranked first for its “state of mental health” in a new national report released this week by Mental Health America (MHA). The State of Mental Health in America report ranks each state according to the prevalence of mental health conditions and needs, access to mental health services, and barriers to access. Learn more.


The 2021 Friend & Leader Awards Dinner

MAMH's annual Friend & Leader Awards Dinner on October 13 celebrated leaders who collectively guided us through the coronavirus pandemic and prioritized the growing need for mental health and substance use services in its aftermath. Read more.


Support Mental Health Parity Implementation

For decades, MAMH has advocated for people with mental health and substance use conditions to receive the same level of health insurance benefits and access to services as people with physical health conditions. In 2008, the federal Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act became law, but it still is not fully enforced. Learn more.


Network of Care

Network of Care Massachusetts now offers an updated insurance section to help people better navigate insurance options available in the Commonwealth. 

The refreshed pages include a private insurance page with information on how to purchase individual coverage and a public insurance page that provides guidance on publicly funded insurance programs available in Massachusetts, how to determine if you are eligible, and how to apply for coverage. A new consumer resource center provides answers to frequently asked questions about health insurance and strategies to use yours to access behavioral health services. Click here to access this new resource! 


Looking for Mental Health Support? #JustAsk

Research suggests that young adults were most affected by the impact of the pandemic, yet few resources are available to help them understand their mental health or find help when they want it. MAMH launched #JustAsk to empower young adults to take charge of their mental health. Learn more.




Calling 911: Long-term system change is needed, and we can start now

The 911 emergency response system in Massachusetts is designed for health emergencies, fires, and criminal activity. In most cases it functions well for these purposes. However, in a mental health crisis, 911 remains the only option for many people. Important, foundational steps to reform 911 today bring us closer to much-needed systemic change and a safer way to find help when it’s needed. Read more.

Reforming the Criminal Legal System in the Commonwealth

People with mental health conditions are significantly overrepresented in every aspect of the criminal legal system. Too often, they are unnecessarily arrested and punished in jails and prisons that are unprepared for them and can do real and lasting harm.

For those who are imprisoned, we need to ensure they are treated fairly, receive the treatment they need and want, and receive support upon re-entry to the community to help prevent recidivism. Our summary of the issue and potential solutions is outlined here.

A 2020 investigation of the Massachusetts Department of Corrections revealed serious legal and human rights violations in these settings. In an editorial this summer, the Boston Globe supported legislation promoted by MAMH to reform mental health services in Massachusetts prisons, noting that "the juncture of mental illness and the criminal justice system is as undeniable as it is persistent."

Legislation sponsored by Sen. Jamie Eldridge and Rep. Brandy Fluker Oakley would institute changes at both state prisons and county jails, including provisions to facilitate transferring prisoners in crisis to mental health treatment facilities.

The FY22 budget included $1 million for the last year of a 4-year pilot project to establish a Middlesex County Restoration Center to provide crisis and urgent care for people with behavioral health needs, diverting them from arrest, jail, and hospitalization. 


Angela Wallace on Youth Advocacy

Angela Wallace is a senior at Bowdoin College and an effective, persuasive advocate for mental health education in the Commonwealth. Our Interview with Angela gives us insight about the role the next generation of leaders play in the future of mental health advocacy. Read more.


A Struggling Generation: The Impact Of Mental Health and Why We Need To Do More

Guest blogger Carson Domey, a high school senior and youth mental health leader, advocates for students to have information they need to protect their mental health and find help when they need it. Read more.

Research Updates

A new report by the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation documents the experience of behavioral health provider organizations that have implemented an "open access" model to ensure that people receive the care they need when they need it. The report provides keys to success and policy recommendations to promote the broader adoption of open access across the Commonwealth. Read more

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is the world’s most widely available and widely used mutual help program to support individuals with recovery from addiction. A new Cochrane report systematically weighs the evidence for AA's effectiveness. Read more

Researchers at the National Institute for Mental Health's (NIMH) Intramural Research Program have developed a new way to measure the degree to which the proportions of an individual person’s brain differ from the proportions typically seen in the broader population. This technique yields new insights into brain development and offers tools for further study. Read more.


Career Opportunities

MAMH is hiring a Research Associate to support a broad range of research, analysis, advocacy, and administrative duties related to MAMH’s legislative agenda. 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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