A Healthy Blog

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

Children's Mental Health

Little Kids, Big Problems, A Way to Help

Unfortunately, a tight budget has become par for the course in recent years. This week, as part of the annual rite of spring that is the House Budget Debate, legislators will have to make difficult decisions about what and how much spending to cut in Fiscal Year 2011. In this fiscal climate, it’s hard for legislators to look beyond the next revenue projections. Still, as advocates and citizens, it is our responsibility to call on them to see the big picture. Example: This article from Sunday’s Boston Globe Magazine. Yes, providing mental health consultative services to pre-school children... Read more »

NAMI Raises Voice For Mental Health

The National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) had their annual lobby day at the State House on Monday. Consumers and advocates from across the state came to show their support for mental health services that are currently being offered in the state. Laurie Martinelli, Executive Director for NAMI, opened the event by sharing six recommendations for the state regarding mental health services. Budget cuts were a top priority at the lobby day, since so many mental health services are in jeopardy. One of focus of the day was Emergency Service Providers (ESP). ESP is a program that offers around... Read more »

Yolanda and Her Law

Today marks the two year anniversary of Yolanda Torres’ death. Yolanda was a remarkable young woman who shared her story of living with mental health needs in testimony before the Mental Health and Substance Abuse Committee in May 2007. With the support of her family, Chapter 321 of the Act of 2008 (An Act Relative To Children’s Mental Health), has become known to many as Yolanda’s Law. Read more »

New Children’s Mental Health Blog

A new year, and new useful things on the web. Take a minute to check out Lisa Lambert’s new blog: holdonitsnotover.wordpress.com. Lisa is the Executive Director of the Parent-Professional Advocacy League (PAL), a consumer-based group for parents of children with mental health needs. PAL is also a founding member of the Children’s Mental Health Campaign. Welcome to the Massosphere, Lisa.-Matt Noyes Read more »

Prison Is Not Treatment: Part 2

Back in August, we wrote a blog about young people with mental health needs ending up in prison for lack of community resources. While it doesn’t take much of an intellectual leap to imagine how inappropriate this setting would be for mentally ill youth, earlier this week, the New York Times published a story highlighting the conditions faced by these young people. Most official estimates of the numbers of young people involved with the juvenile justice system who have mental health needs are typically in the 75% range. Talk to anyone who is familiar with the system, and they will tell you... Read more »

Suicide, Kids, and Mental Health

For the past two years, the Children’s Mental Health Campaign has held 19 forums on mental health needs of kids across the Commonwealth.  While each forum has been different, one statistic universally resonates with all audiences and brings home the importance of the issue: Suicide is the third leading cause of death among children between the ages of 10 – 24; of those who commit suicide, 90% (90%!) have a diagnosable and treatable mental illness at the time of their death. Read more »

Children’s Mental Health Campaign Travels to Holyoke

This Friday, December 11, the Children’s Mental Health Campaign  will co-host a Children’s Mental Health Forum in Holyoke with the MSPCC Holyoke office.  Mental health service providers, parents of children who suffer from mental illness, school counselors and more are expected to gather to share and discuss their experiences in accessing the children’s mental health care system in Massachusetts. This forum which begins at 9am will be held at the Holyoke Health Center and is open to the public. Read more »

Children’s Mental Health on the Road – Somerville

Last Thursday evening, the Children’s Mental Health Campaign held its 15th regional forum in Somerville. The event, cosponsored by the City of Somerville, drew over 40 individuals from Somerville and the surrounding communities. Read more »

Children’s Mental Health Forum to be held in Somerville this week

On Thursday, November 5, parents, youth, clinicians, child advocates and community members will convene in Somerville to share their experiences in accessing the children’s mental health care system in Massachusetts. This forum, which begins at 5:30pm is co-sponsored by the City of Somerville, the Somerville Committee on Suicide Prevention and Mental Health and The Children’s Mental Health Campaign. The committee was developed after a 2004 suicide crisis in Somerville which has since subsided. One major issue that plagues the community now is the stigma surrounding issues of mental health... Read more »

MA Children’s Mental Health Workforce Capacity: “Who is going to do the work?”

Last week, the Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation of Massachusetts released Accessing Children’s Mental Health Services in Massachusetts: Workforce Capacity Assessment (pdf). It’s no secret that there is a workforce shortage among mental health practitioners treating children with mental health needs. In some geographic areas, up to 82% of prescriber practices are full and unable to take new patients. Currently, there are approximately 6,800 child and adolescent mental health providers in Massachusetts. In 2020, it is estimated that we will have 8,300. However, according to those same... Read more »

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