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Support Funding for Key Mental Health Programs

The FY22 Budget recently signed by the Governor takes important steps to address the demand for behavioral health, safe housing, and related social services stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. For an overview of key provisions, see MAMH's FY22 budget analysis. The budget includes many of MAMH's budget priorities, which were outlined here in our FY22 Letter to the Legislature.

For more information on how the budget process works, check out our Massachusetts State Budget Process summary.

Advocate for Policies that Promote Mental Health

MAMH's legislative agenda for 2021-2022 supports three main goals - expanding access, decriminalizing mental health conditions, and promoting wellness. With a focus on prevention and ongoing concerns of parity, MAMH staff and partners will work closely with legislators on bills to support each of these priorities. To learn more about MAMH's overall legislative priorities, refer to our MAMH's 2021-22 Legislative Agenda.

You can make a difference by contacting your legislators today and encouraging them to support the goals that matter to you!

Expanding Access

Legislation Description More Information

S.1287, An Act to increase investment in behavioral health care in the Commonwealth

The behavioral health system has long been underfunded. This bill will increase investment in behavioral health care – 30% per year over three years, above baseline expenditures, adding behavioral health expenditures as a specific focus to the Health Policy Commission’s annual cost trends hearings.

Bill

Fact Sheet

S.675, An Act relative to mental health parity implementation

There remains a stark lack of parity between behavioral health and physical health. This bill will improve enforcement of existing parity legislation and take steps to remove barriers to care.

Bill

See also H. 2065

MAMH Testimony on H.2065

Fact Sheet

H.2081 & S.1274, An Act to better coordinate suicide prevention services, behavioral health crisis care and emergency services through 988 implementation

More investment is needed in alternatives to law enforcement response to behavioral health/social service needs. This bill will create a 988 infrastructure that coordinates several parts of a cohesive crisis response and additional follow up.

Bill (House)

Bill (Senate)

Fact Sheet

Issue Brief

MAMH Recommendations Overview

H.2083, An Act relative to behavioral health urgent care

Urgent care is typically not available for children and adults seeking help for behavioral health conditions. To support a system of behavioral health urgent care, the Department of Public Health must develop a regulatory framework to ensure families in need of care during a behavioral health crisis can access the appropriate treatments.

Bill

Fact Sheet

Decriminalizing Mental Health

Legislation Description More Information

H.2461 & S.1567, An Act to enhance 911 operations for behavioral health crisis response

Our existing emergency response system must be better able to triage people in behavioral health crisis away from law enforcement. This bill will integrate behavioral health as a primary response type into the 911 system.

Bill (House)

Bill (Senate)

Fact Sheet

Testimony

H.2089 & S.1283, An Act to ensure the constitutional rights and human dignity of prisoners on mental health watch

Trauma inflicted on prisoners, which is disproportionately inflicted on those with mental health conditions, must end. This bill will address the egregious constitutional violations by DOC on prisoners on mental health suicide watch.

Bill (House)

Bill (Senate)

Fact Sheet

Testimony

H.1888/S.926, An Act relative to strengthening the penalty for assault or assault and battery on an emergency medical technician, ambulance operator, ambulance attendant or health care provider

MAMH opposes this legislation, which would further criminalize people with mental health conditions and contribute to mass incarceration without addressing the root causes of crisis or providing more effective approaches to crisis response.

Bill House

Bill Senate

Testimony

Promoting Wellness

Legislation Description More Information

S.91, An Act relative to screening for childhood trauma

Trauma remains a near universal experience for individuals involved in various care systems. This bill establishes an advisory working group to update, amend, and select tools and protocols for the screening of children for trauma.

Bill

Fact Sheet

S.1275, An Act establishing an Office of Behavioral Health Promotion

In order to better provide behavioral health care in the Commonwealth, additional investment must be made in communicating/promoting available behavioral health services. This bill establishes such an office within the Executive Office of Health and Human Services.

Bill

Fact Sheet

H.616 & S.292, An Act relative to the promotion of mental health education

A significant and growing number of youth experience mental health issues – a reality made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic. This bill will require K-12 schools to provide mental health education to students.

Bill (House)

Bill (Senate)

Fact Sheet

Testimony Testimony

New Vision to Transform Mental Health Care

MAMH is proud to join the nation’s leading mental health advocacy organizations in calling for policy, programs, and standards that prioritize mental health care and address the social and economic conditions that contribute to mental health conditions. Read our Our Unified Vision for Transforming Mental Health and Substance Use Care!

MAMH President & CEO Danna Mauch speaking at a Joint Committee on The Judiciary hearing in June, 2021.

Student Angela Wallace testifying at a Joint Committee on Mental Health, Substance Use and Recovery in June, 2021.