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!