A Healthy Blog

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

Children's Mental Health

Colleges Addressing Mental Health Needs of Students: A Few Thoughts

NPR’s Morning Edition today featured a story about efforts by certain colleges to more effectively address the mental health needs of their students. A wide-ranging piece, there were some points worth pulling out and thinking about. Stigma remains a tragically persistent barrier for many individuals and families touched by mental illness. That colleges are recognizing that this is a major issue and are devoting resources to helping their students is to be commended. Every time there is an acknowledgement of mental health needs, it is one more step we are taking toward a day when illnesses... Read more »

Looking to a Day When Access to Mental Health Services Doesn’t Depend on Where You Go to School

Working in conjunction with the Boston Public Health Commission, the Children’s Mental Health Campaign sponsored its 16th community forum in Allston at the Gardner Pilot Academy. It was an energetic and inspiring evening, with a mix of policy makers, elected officials, young people, parents, and advocates coming together to talk about ways to improve the children’s mental health system in Massachusetts. Senator Steven Tolman kicked the evening off speaking about how important the issue is to him personally. Talking about the Coordination of Care legislation he sponsored, the Senator said, “... Read more »

Wall Street Journal Tells the Rest of the Country What Worcester Already Knows

On Wednesday, the Wall Street Journal published an article highlighting the benefits of providing mental health consultative services in early education settings. When these services are available, behavioral problems are more effectively addressed, children have better school experiences, and, as the article states, the classroom environment is more cheerful. Worcester has been leading the way in implementing these ideas for several years. Together For Kids (TFK), a program of Community Healthlink, is a community network of parents, providers, and advocates that provides support for... Read more »

Children’s Mental Health on the Move

This afternoon, the Joint Committee on Mental Health and Substance Abuse favorably reported S. 757, An Act Relative To The Coordination of Children’s Mental Health Care. This marks an important step in the progress of the legislation as the Mental Health and Substance Abuse Committee had primary jurisdiction over the bill. For more information about S. 757 and for a summary of the June hearing on the bill, click here. From here, the bill is expected to get a new number and move on to the Health Care Financing Committee. Big thanks goes out to Senator Jen Flanagan, Representative Liz Malia... Read more »

Prison Is Not Treatment

Budget cuts have real consequences for real people – consequences that will be felt for years to come. The crisis of the mental health system that the Children’s Mental Health Campaign and other advocates have spoken about in Massachusetts is one that is mirrored across the nation. Today’s New York Times features a chilling story about the plight of young people with mental health needs who, for lack of proper resources and services, end up in prison. The tragedy of these stories is that in many cases, incarceration could have been avoided. Early identification and treatment of mental... Read more »

Happy New Year... Children's Behavioral Health

Children's Behavioral Health Initiative: Help Begins Today The first of the new services promised under the settlement of the Rosie D v Romney lawsuit are being rolled out today. The suit, which was adjudicated in 2006, found that Massachusetts failed to provide community-based services for Medicaid-eligible children with severe emotional disturbance. Over the past few years, the state has worked hard to create an infrastructure that will support new services. This effort was led by the Children's Behavioral Health Initiative (CBHI) Starting today, we will see how successful they have been... Read more »

Also on the Children's Mental Health Front ... Legislative Hearing

When the omnibus Act Relative To Children’s Mental Health (Chapter 321 of the Acts of 2008) was signed into law last year, there was one provision that was not included: reimbursement for collateral contacts by commercial insurance. Collateral contacts can be more accurately referred to as coordination of care. When an adult is working with a mental health professional, the adult can typically express what is going on in his or her life directly to the clinician in such a way as to make treatment effective. When it is a seven year old, it’s not so simple. Children are not little adults. To... Read more »

Children’s Mental Health Forums Come to the Big City

After 14 regional forums from Pittsfield to Hyannis, the Children’s Mental Health Campaign participated in a forum in Boston last night. Hosted by the Boston Public Health Commission, the forum took place at Boston English High School in Jamaica Plain. The evening agenda brought out new constituencies, especially young people. More than 20 were in attendance – many of who shared their personal stories and asked questions of the panels. Read more »

High Honors for the Children’s Mental Health Campaign

The Children’s Mental Health Campaign was honored by the Publicity Club of New England at the 40th annual Bell Ringer Awards. The Bell Ringer recognizes excellence in communications and public relations work in every field and industry, and across all media – print, broadcast, and online. It remains the region’s premier competition for public relations and communications professionals. Read more »

Children’s Mental Health Legislation Heard

When the omnibus Act Relative To Children’s Mental Health (Chapter 321 of the Acts of 2008) was signed into law last year, there was one provision that was not included: reimbursement for collateral contacts by commercial insurance. Read more »


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