News & Updates
January 2020 | Issue 2
Powered by Purpose | Research | Making a Difference | News | Worth Noting | Events
Powered by Purpose
"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."    - Martin Luther King, Jr.

This month, as we remember and celebrate the advocacy of Martin Luther King, Jr., I am especially mindful of Dr. King’s fight for equality and social justice for all people, a fight he carried out while struggling with depression. Racism and discrimination are still pervasive, putting persons of color at higher risk for mental health conditions and at highest risk for adverse outcomes. This is borne out and reflected in the disproportionate numbers of people who end up homeless or incarcerated as a result of behavioral health conditions.

MAMH will continue its work with our partners to address the over-representation of people with behavioral health conditions on the streets, in shelters, and in jails. Among these initiatives are the Children’s Mental Health Campaign's push for pediatric behavioral health urgent care; increased budgets for Rental Subsidies and Supportive Housing; development of the Middlesex County Restoration Center as an alternative to arrest or emergency room care; limits on the use of Administrative Segregation in prisons; and building an online Network of Care to improve behavioral health literacy and provide tools to navigate access to care. For more information about our work, please read our 2019 Annual Report .

We need to do more by leveraging current partnerships and forging new collaborations. In 2020 and beyond, may Dr. King inspire us as we continue our public policy, legislative advocacy, and targeted program work.

Thank you for all you do in your personal and professional lives to end discrimination, address disparities, and advance social justice. With much appreciation,

Danna Mauch, PhD
President and CEO
Research Updates
High school boys with a history of concussion are twice as likely to have attempted suicide and more than three times as likely to have been treated by a doctor or nurse for a suicide attempt than boys with no history of concussion, according to research published in the online Journal of Affective Disorders and reported in the APA's Psychiatric News .

Fifty-five years after the first Surgeon General's report on smoking, the Surgeon General released a new report to update evidence on smoking cessation . The report includes a section on people with behavioral health conditions (pages 539-540) and includes useful companion resources. In addition, the Centers for Disease Control posted five PSAs on quitting smoking featuring the Surgeon General.

As many as half of older adults living alone lack the financial resources required to pay for basic needs, according to the 2019 Elder Index™. Developed by the Gerontology Institute at UMass-Boston, the Elder Index™ measures the income that older adults need to meet basic needs such as housing, health care, transportation, and food. Click here to learn the cost of living for older adults to live independently in your state or county.

Young adults with disabilities , including serious mental health conditions, who are black are significantly less likely to find and keep jobs than peers who are white, according to a new research brief published by the UMass Medical School Transitions to Adulthood Research Center. The report also notes that young adult black people are disproportionately represented among both young people diagnosed with emotional disturbances and among recipients of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits.

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Making a Difference
MAMH delivered testimony on behalf of the Children's Mental Health Campaign on Jan. 28 supporting Gov. Baker's proposed health reform bill. Danna Mauch told members of the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing that the Governor's proposal to increase by 30% over 3 years the share of overall health expenditures spent on primary and behavioral health care would improve outcomes and help to rein in health care spending.

Governor Baker's proposed FY21 budget, released Jan. 22, includes $910 million for the Department of Mental Health (DMH), an increase of $8.6 million above FY2020 estimated spending . On Jan. 23, EOHHS Secretary Marylou Sudders briefed MAMH and other advocates on the budget, which she described as a “strong maintenance budget.” The proposal includes increased funding to support:

  • 80 new treatment beds for men who are civilly committed under Section 35 (treatment will look similar to the Women’s Recovery from Addictions Program)

  • Transitioning 63 DMH clients from Tewksbury Hospital who are ready for discharge into the community

The proposed MassHealth budget includes more than $60 million in dedicated funding for behavioral health redesign initiatives, including

  • $40 million to support EOHHS ambulatory care behavioral health redesign initiatives, including urgent care
  • $11 million to expand access to mobile and community-based treatment through the Emergency Services Program (ESP)
  • Funding to increase rates for psychiatry services in community health centers; Intensive/Community-Based Acute Treatment (I/CBAT) programs; and fee-for-service inpatient psychiatric hospitals

For more information about the Governor's budget, click here .
MAMH in the News
Worth Noting
A recent survey by the National Council on Aging found that many older adults have been significantly affected by the opioid crisis. The survey report calls for i mproved health literacy among older adults toward the safe and appropriate use of opioids for chronic pain. The report also advocates for better access to public benefits to alleviate the financial stress of supporting family members in rehabilitation or new expenses of caring for grandchildren and other young relatives.

The National Conference of State Legislatures hosts a Scope of Practice Policy Website that includes an interactive map of the United States describing scope of practice laws and regulations related to behavioral health providers. Supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), the website also includes an up-to-date state legislative database with links to workforce-related bills.

Despite growing numbers of older adults as a percentage of the population, more than a third of geriatric graduate fellowships went unfilled last year, according to this New York Times article , citing the American Geriatrics Society and focusing on the shortage of geriatricians in the United States.
Upcoming Events
Making Census 2020 Count in Your Community
Tuesday, February 25, 2020, 12:00 - 1:30 PM ET
Free webinar by US Census 2020 partnership specialists about how to make sure the count is as accurate as possible and to make sure people are protected from fraud. Sponsored by the Tri-State Learning Collaborative on Aging.  Register here .

SAMHSA Webinar Series on Practices that Support Recovery
Free webinars hosted by SAMHSA's Northeast and Caribbean Mental Health Technology Transfer Center (MHTTC)

Supported Education: Supporting Individuals to Begin or Return to Higher Education  
Thursday, February 6, 2020, 1:00 – 2:30 ET   Register here.

Permanent Supportive Housing: Practices that Support Independent Community Living  
Wednesday, February 26, 2020, 1:00 – 2:30 ET   Register here.
O lder Adults: Addressing the Impact of Trauma
May 4, 2020, College of the Holy Cross, Worcester
Free, full-day conference addressing the impact of trauma in the lives of older adults. Sponsored by DMH and co-sponsored by the MA Aging and Mental Health Coalition. CEUs for social work will be requested.

May 13-14, 2020, Sheraton Hotel & Conference Center, Framingham
19th Annual Massachusettts Suicide Prevention Conference featuring keynote speakers Laura van Dernoot Lipsky and Eric Hipple.
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