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Your Campaign Budget Update:

MHAP for Kids: DCF Line Item #4800-0200

The Mental Health Advocacy Program (MHAP) for Kids is a highly sought after service initially piloted in the Lowell and Lynn Family Resource Centers (FRCs) that is meeting that need. MHAP for Kids improves the mental health of youth who have been diverted from juvenile court or are already court-involved and have unmet mental health needs by providing these children with a legal advocate trained in removing barriers to treatment. MHAP for Kids attorneys aim to divert children from possible or further court involvement, help children thrive in school, reduce family conflict, and minimize costly emergency room treatment. The program is supported through a combination of public and private funds, and it is designed to be replicable in other FRCs. MHAP for Kids currently provides a specially trained staff attorney in 4 Family Resource Centers (FRCs) serving Suffolk, Essex, Middlesex and Bristol counties and up to 320 children annually.

FY 2020 GAA: $16.5M Total; Included at $500,000

Return to School Programs: DPH Line Item #4590-0250

The focus of Bridge programs is to ensure that youth who have been out of school for psychiatric or other hospitalizations can successfully transition back to school. Many districts already have these innovative programs, which provide emotional and academic support to students who have missed 5 or more days of school due to a mental health crisis, hospitalization, or serious medical problem. 50% of US high school students with serious mental illness drop out of school. Bridge programs are changing that script for Massachusetts youth with a short-term intervention that reduces drop-out rates to 8%.

FY 2020 GAA: Included at $350,000

Community Behavioral Health Promotion and Prevention Trust Fund (BHPPe): $200,000

Behavioral Health Outreach, Access and Support Trust Fund (BHOASTF): $10M

Beacons from the Hill:

Thank you, Governor Baker, Senate President Spilka, Speaker DeLeo, and our legislative champions for a FY 2020 budget that works to improve access to care for kids with behavioral health conditions!

Breaking News: Ghost Networks.

Ghost Networks Update:

On July 25th, The Senate passed S. 2295, the Ghost Networks Bill, unanimously. On Wednesday, similar language to address the accuracy and transparency of provider directories passed the House as part of H. 4012, the Children's Health Wellness Act! A conference committee will now be formed to deliberate between the two versions. This is an important step forward in the effort to mandate improvements to insurance provider directories.

Thank you, Senate President Spilka, Sen. Friedman, Sen. Lewis, Speaker DeLeo, and Rep. Barber for helping to remove barriers to children's mental health care.

Beacons from the Hill:

Your Campaign Legislative Update.
Pictured (Left to Right): Maria Mossaides, Director of the Office of the Child Advocate, Nancy Allen-Scannell, Director of External Affairs at MSPCC, and Sara Golden, Clinical Social Worker at Boston Children's Hospital testify in support of a Children's Mental Health Ombuds in the Commonwealth.

Read Boston Globe's editorial in support of a Children's Mental Health Ombudsperson.

Don't miss the MA Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics' letter to the editor!

Pictured (Left to Right): Mary Woodland, of Boston Children's Hospital, & Wells Wilkinson of @Health Law Advocates testify in support for stronger mental health parity enforcement.
Pictured (Left to Right): Danna Mauch, of Massachusetts Association for Mental Health, & John Richter, of Mental Health Association in New York State testify about New York's Mental Health Education Law.
Pictured (Left to Right): Matthew Pecoraro, of Judge Baker Children's Center, & Nancy Allen-Scannell, of the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.
Headlines for You.
"When I started my training in psychiatry, a senior doctor told me I should have a therapist of my own. He explained that it’s essential to understand myself so I can better understand my patients. That made sense, so I started calling a list of psychiatrists who supposedly took my insurance. Some of them were dead. Many weren’t taking new patients. Others didn’t take my insurance. I couldn’t find a single psychiatrist on the list to see me. It took months of networking for me to finally find a therapist."
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Thank you!

Credits:

Created with images by Xan_Photography - "playground park play" • Michael Browning - "untitled image" • AbsolutVision - "untitled image" • Micheile Henderson - "untitled image"

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