A Healthy Blog

Massachusetts health care — wonky, with a healthy dose of reality

Children’s Mental Health Legislation Signed into Law

Children’s Mental Health Legislation Signed into Law

August 22, 2008

Yesterday, Governor Deval Patrick completed the final step to make An Act Relative To Children’s Mental Health law by signing the legislation (News Tribune story here). Chapter 321 of the Acts of 2008 will make significant changes to the children’s mental health system in Massachusetts that will improve the lives of tens of thousands of young people living with mental illness. Chapter 321 will provide resources to schools and early education setting that will help students with mental illnesses, reduce the rate of children stuck in inappropriate treatment settings, expand early identification of mental illness, and restructure state agencies to encourage communication and cooperation. The enactment of Chapter 321 is a major victory, but the Children’s Mental Health Campaign recognizes that there is major work still to be done. In the next legislative session, the Campaign will monitor implementation of Chapter 321 and advance new legislative initiatives, including coverage of collateral contacts, juvenile justice and CHINS reform, and workforce shortages. If you would like to be more involved with the Campaign, contact Matt Noyes at mnoyes@hcfama.org. Matt Noyes