Community Behavioral Health Centers Open Statewide

BOSTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Expanding access to behavioral health services in Massachusetts began with the opening of 25 Community Behavioral Health Centers (CBHCs) across the state on Tuesday.

CBHCs are part of the state Roadmap for Behavioral Health Reform which also includes community-based crisis intervention services, and the launch of the 24/7 behavioral health helpline.

The effort is to provide a new “front door” to behavioral health care for Massachusetts residents, making it easier for residents to find and access behavioral health services, reducing reliance on emergency rooms for hospitals and improving and simplifying the availability of clinical behavioral health services for adults and youth.

The roadmap was created after the state solicited and received input from nearly 700 individuals, families, providers, and others who identified a need for expanded treatment access, more effective treatment, and greater health equity.

The COVID-19 pandemic saw a sharp increase in the demand for mental health services, especially among young people. In addition, a shortage of mental health workers and beds at facilities causes patients to struggle to ensure quick access to community behavioral health services.

“Over the past eight years, our administration has worked in partnership with providers, physicians and communities to strengthen capacity and access in the behavioral health system.” said Gov. Charlie Baker. “With the implementation of these important Behavioral Health Reform Roadmap initiatives, we are taking another important step to ensure our residents can get the help they need, which is especially crucial given the ongoing need for services. behavioral health as we emerge from the pandemic. I want to thank Secretary Sudders, the team at the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, and all of our partners for their work on this initiative, and we look forward to seeing Roadmap’s lasting impact for years to come.”

“The behavioral health reform roadmap was the result of conversations with providers, patients and families in communities across the Commonwealth.” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “Today, with the launch of the Community Behavioral Health Centers and Helpline, we are taking a critical step in making the vision of the Roadmap a reality. We are grateful to the behavioral health providers and professionals across the Commonwealth who have made this day a reality.”

The three main outcomes of the roadmap are:

  • A network of 25 Community Behavioral Health Centers in communities throughout the state, designated and funded by the Administration, that serve as entry points for timely, high-quality, evidence-based treatment for mental health conditions and substance use disorders, including routine appointments, visits urgent care and community care. crisis-based intervention. Learn more, Click here.
  • mobile 24/7 community-based crisis intervention and stabilization services that will serve as an alternative to hospital emergency services.
  • A new, 24/7 Behavioral Health Helpline, offering a single point of contact for residents to receive real-time support, initial clinical assessment, and connection to appropriate mental health and SUD assessment and treatment, regardless of insurance status or ability to pay. The phone and chat line will offer real-time clinical triage and service navigation in over 200 languages ​​to help individuals and families access the range of mental health and addiction treatment offered in the Free State Associate, including ambulatory, urgent and immediate intervention in case of crisis. Every call, text or chat conversation will include a clinical follow-up. The helpline is available by phone or text at 833-773-BHHLas well as chat online at masshelpline.com.

To find a Community Behavioral Health Center use this link.

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