Apr 29, 2022

May is Mental Health Month provides MAMH an opportunity to reflect on our purpose, review efforts to achieve our mission, and reflect on the work you -- our friends and supporters -- have done so far to make a difference.

At MAMH, we consider May is Mental Health Month an opportunity to reflect on our purpose – to bring justice and compassion to the building of a responsive behavioral health system that addresses promotion, prevention, treatment, and recovery for all. We also pause to review efforts to achieve our mission in the context of a busy legislative session and active implementation of many new projects and initiatives in the Commonwealth. We have been communicating with you – our friends and supporters – asking you to reach out to your lawmakers while simultaneously providing legislators and their staff with facts and figures to support our collective advocacy. We thank you for the work you have done so far to make a difference and hope you will join us throughout the month as we focus on three key priorities important to the mental health and well being of Commonwealth residents.

In just two months, the new suicide and behavioral health crisis care helpline will go live. We anticipate that in the year to come, people will be met with understanding, guidance, and resources when they call 988. This effort will be further strengthened by the state’s own Behavioral Health Helpline, set to go into effect early 2023. The 988 line and the Behavioral Health Helpline are designed to carry out the challenging work of breaking down barriers to mental health care and will ultimately provide more robust support for all residents of the Commonwealth.

We cannot forget about our neighbors, friends, colleagues, and families providing the care so integral to our overall health. A collective recovery from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic cannot be accomplished on the backs of a strained behavioral health workforce. MAMH will continue to support essential health care workers; advocate for increased investments in their training, education, and compensation; and advocate expansion of program opportunities for individuals who will increase the diversity of that workforce. If our first goal is to ensure all residents have access to health care, a natural second goal is to ensure residents find culturally relevant care from peers and clinicians who look, sound, and experience the world the way they do.

As we look ahead, we are reminded of our youngest residents, who have suffered most with traumatic stress, anxiety, and depression during the pandemic. In the coming year, MAMH will facilitate implementation of our vision for comprehensive pediatric behavioral health urgent care. We are hopeful that with expanded service types and locations for pediatric behavioral health care – many available close to home and school – children and youth will have an easier time finding timely support and care.

Thank you for joining us this month, and every month, in supporting behavioral health and wellness. Don’t miss out on any of the many mental health-related events occurring this month and be sure to stay up to date by following us on social media – either on Twitter or Facebook.

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