Sep 28, 2022

With funding from Mass General Brigham, MAMH has awarded five Community Behavioral Health Centers (CBHC) grants to better support students with urgent mental health and substance use needs.

The CBHCs will collaborate with one or more schools to implement a behavioral health urgent care model that includes assessments for students with an emerging behavioral health need, extended hours, referrals, same-day access to psychiatric consultation; and 24/7 access to crisis services if needed. The services are designed to provide an effective alternative to the use of police or 911 crisis calls for students in emotional distress; minimize Emergency Department visits than can best be addressed with earlier, less intensive interventions; and minimize school expulsions, suspensions, and absences due to behavioral health concerns.

The CBHCs, selected through a competitive bidding process, each will receive up to $476,500 over the next three years to implement the behavioral health urgent care model. The grantees and their school partners are:

  • Advocates, Inc. and Framingham Public Schools (grades K-5)
  • Aspire Health Alliance and Randolph Public Schools and Weymouth Public Schools
  • Behavioral Health Network, Inc. and Washington Street School, Springfield
  • Eliot Community Human Services and Everett Public Schools
  • Riverside Community Care and Milford Public Schools (Stacy Middle School and Milford High School)
“These partnerships will help students and their families get effective, community-based services when they need them, without having to go to an Emergency Department or call 911.”
Danna Mauch, President and CEO, MAMH

The partnership is part of Mass General Brigham’s $50 million dollar investment in community and mental health, providing transformative grants to partners throughout the region that are dedicated to solving some of the crises stemming from the pandemic. The investments provide necessary funds to organizations striving to increase access to mental health care, ensure food and nutrition security, and promote equity and access. These community grants build upon Mass General Brigham’s existing $175 million annual community health investment program.

The pandemic increased an already critical problem for children with emerging or urgent mental health care concerns, and Emergency departments continue to be overwhelmed with patients seeking mental health care, and many are experiencing unacceptable delays in receiving treatment,” said Joy Rosen, Vice President, Mass General Brigham System Behavioral and Mental Health. “The need to help students before they are in crisis is critical, and we are pleased to support the important efforts of community behavioral health centers and schools.”

“We’re excited to see so many community mental health agencies collaborating with schools to implement a pediatric behavioral health urgent care model,” added Danna Mauch, President and CEO of MAMH. “These partnerships will help students and their families get effective, community-based services when they need them, without having to go to an Emergency Department or call 911.”

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