For 13 years, The Children's Mental Health Campaign has driven the movement for better mental health care for all kids forward. To celebrate our anniversary, take a look at some of the Campaign highlights!
On January 26, 2006, U.S. District Court Judge Michael A. Ponsor issued an almost 100 page decision that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts violated the federal Medicaid Act by failing to provide appropriate home based mental health care to an estimated 15,000 children.
"Children's Mental Health in the Commonwealth: The Time is NOW" white paper, published by the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children and Boston Children's Hospital, enumerates issues facing children in MA with mental health needs. The Campaign's policy agenda is launched in November 2006.
The coalition expands to include the Parent/Professional Advocacy League, Health Care For All, & Health Law Advocates.
An Act Relative to Children's Mental Health creates a structure for enhancing early identification, treating children in the most appropriate setting, enhancing coordination among state health care agencies, and establishing mechanisms for oversight of and input into the state's children's mental health system.
Mental health parity is expanded by the passage of Chapter 256. The Campaign advocates for this law, which strengthens the state's mental health parity law by expanding the categories of disorders for which health insurance plans must provide mental health benefits.
The Campaign helps to lead the drive to replace the state's CHINS (Child in Need of Services) system with for coping with children with serious disciplinary services (many of whom have behavioral health conditions) with the new FACES (Families and Children Engaged in Services) system. FACES offers families access to community-based services to keep children out of the juvenile justice system.
The Campaign’s support for the establishment of a statewide “safe and supportive framework” to assist schools to create learning environments that improve educational outcomes for youth with behavioral health conditions was realized when Governor Deval Patrick signed the provision into law.
In 2016, the Campaign’s advocacy for supporting adolescent substance use prevention took a leap forward with the enactment of an Act relative to substance use, treatment, education and prevention (STEP Act) which outlines how public schools in the Commonwealth should engage in substance use screening and education. The Campaign continues to work to prevent youth substance use and misuse by expanding a risk-assessment tool called SBIRT, or Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment, throughout the state.
The Children’s Mental Health Campaign hosted its Infant & Early Childhood Mental Health Summit, in June 2017, to convene a diverse group of stakeholders to discuss inequities in infant & early childhood mental health care (IECMH). The recommendations and action steps captured at this convening continues to inform CMHC’s work to address equity, workforce development, access to services & supports, and public awareness in the infant and early childhood space.