- Massachusetts should help promising programs grow to scale. Two immediate candidates are the INTERFACE referral service (INTERFACE) and Bridge for Resilient Youth in Transition (BRYT).
- The state should commit to closing the knowledge gap by creating a state-of-the-art resource helpline and promoting its use statewide. A promising project with that goal is now underway.
- Massachusetts should expand the training and employment of people in peer support roles. One major step in that direction would be MassHealth payment for Certified Peer Specialists.
- Massachusetts should require increased transparency of insurance, improved customer relations, and safeguards to guarantee that people receive the full measure of the mental health coverage to which they are entitled by their insurance policies.
- The services of Emergency Services Programs (ESPs) should be available to all. To that end, all commercial insurers should include ESPs as an essential part of their behavioral health coverage.
- The comprehensive approach to children's mental health, embodied by the Children's Behavioral Health Initiative (CBHI), should become a universal feature of commercial insurance.
Appearing throughout this report are photographic portraits of people in recovery from mental illness. These individuals are participants in the 99 Faces Project, an artistic work conceived and created by Massachusetts artist Lynda Michaud Cutrell. The goal of 99 Faces is to portray, in the words of Cutrell, "individuals whose lives are remarkable for their recovery, not their illness." As such, they exemplify and reflect the promise that timely and effective access to treatment for mental health conditions holds. This report takes an optimistic approach to our collective ability to reduce the barriers to delivery of effective mental health treatment in Massachusetts, because optimism supplies essential energy to the effort. The photographs we have included speak eloquently to why this matters.