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The Mental Health ABC Act.

The Mental Health ABC Act has passed unanimously in the Senate!

On February 13, 2020, S.2519, An Act addressing barriers to care for mental health, passed unanimously in the Senate. The bill enforces and strengthens mental health parity laws and increases access to behavioral health care.

"This is a really big first step. I'd call it landmark. This is so many years, decades in the making," Senate President Karen Spilka said following the legislation's passage. "This bill will lay the foundation. It's the first step in hopefully many steps we will be taking over the next few sessions to start correcting and fixing what has been a broken system for so many people."

From WGBH News: Mass. Senate Passes Bill to Boost Mental Health Care Access

There are a few key amendments included in this bill that we are excited about:

Want to see more reporting on this bill?

"How do we transform mental health and really build a system of integrated mental health care?"
Parity as a concept is simple: Insurance coverage for mental health care should be equal to and no more restrictive than coverage for any other medical condition.
“The Mental Health ABC Act acknowledges the realities that parents of children with behavioral health needs face every day in ensuring their child's safety and wellbeing,” said Mary McGeown, Executive Director, MSPCC, on behalf of the Children's Mental Health Campaign. “The Act takes steps to uncomplicate access to care by allowing both physical and behavioral health treatment to be provided in the same day, and by creating a path so that clinical decisions are made by clinicians rather than insurance companies.”
News from the Attorney General's Office.

The Massachusetts Attorney General's Office has announced results of a mental health parity investigation.

The Settlement arrives shortly after the passage of the Mental Health ABC Act and enforces federal parity laws regarding reliability of provider directories, determination of reimbursement rates, and use of prior authorization.

For more information about this decision and to see the Campaign's response, read our press release.

2020 Census.

2020 is a national census year, and the U.S. Census Bureau is highlighting efforts to ensure all children are counted.

The Census provides critical data that federal and state lawmakers use to make accurate decisions about funding for public services, representation in the House of Representatives, and the expansion or reduction in aid programs.

Invitations to respond to the 2020 Census will be delivered between March 12-20. Once you receive that invitation, you can respond online, by phone, or by mail.

Fill out the Census and ensure that every child counts!


On Friday, February 21st, the U.S. Supreme Court allowed the DHS public charge rule to take effect nationwide.

Click “2. Public Charge” for the dropdown menu of options.

Mass Legal Services has also created an online resource for those wishing to learn more about the public charge rule.

Organization Updates.

The theme for this year's Children's Mental Health Week is Vision for Health and Happiness!

This year's Children's Mental Health Week will take place May 3rd-9th. For questions about how to get involved or to order your Children's Mental Health Week toolkit, email Milla Paumo, Project Coordinator at mpaumo@ppal.net or check out PPAL's website.

The 9th Annual PPAL Conference: "Don't Stop Believing"

PPAL's Conference "Don't Stop Believing is coming up on May 29, 2020. Sponsorship and exhibitor opportunities available. Contact conference@ppal.net for details.

ECMH Matters! Extravaganza

Contact Aditi Subramaniam, MSPCC/ MassAIMH Partnership Manager at asubramaniam@eliotchs.org for details.

Your Headlines.
"Nationwide, more than half of people live in child care deserts, or areas where the number of children under the age of 5 far outstrips the number of available child care slots. However, because many of those openings are in programs that are inaccessible to children with disabilities, the share of disabled children effectively living in child care deserts is likely higher."
"Recognizing the importance of the obstetrician's relationship with pregnant patients and new moms, a statewide program in Massachusetts offers support to obstetricians and gynecologists in screening for and treating depression in pregnant women and new moms."
"Many parents worry that their own or a family member’s mental health disorder destine their children to struggle in the same way. But, while many psychiatric disorders do run in families to some extent, so do lots of things! Right down to food preferences and professions. So, how much do genes have to do with it?"
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Thank you!