SERVICES FOR MENTALLY ILL INDIVIDUALS UNDER AGE TWENTY-TWO

WHEREAS, it is the policy and intent of this Administration to promote the provision of appropriate services to all mentally ill individuals, and

WHEREAS, mentally ill individuals under the age of twenty-two have special needs for care and treatment, and

WHEREAS, the Commonwealth's Department of Mental Health has a special responsibility to provide living arrangements, staffing, mental health services, and other programs appropriate to the needs of individuals under the age of twenty-two, and

WHEREAS, inpatient mental health units operated by the Department of Mental Health that primarily serve mentally ill adults are generally inappropriate to meet the needs of individuals under the age of twenty-two;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Michael S. Dukakis, Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, by virtue of the authority vested in me as Supreme Executive Magistrate, do hereby issue this order as a necessary step to ensure the development of more appropriate services for individuals under the age of twenty-two as follows:

ARTICLE I

  1. The Department of Mental Health is hereby directed to immediately develop plans to address the special needs for the care and treatment of mentally ill persons under the age of nineteen and mentally ill persons between the ages of nineteen and twenty-two, who are receiving structured services pursuant to Chapter 766 which shall:
    1. provide by April 1, 1985, for appropriate age grouping and programs and services designed to meet the needs of such individuals in the least restrictive and most appropriate alternatives available.
    2. provide that all actions within the authority of the Department shall be taken to ensure that no such person shall be retained or allowed to reside after April 1, 1985 in any state hospital or inpatient unit of a state mental health center unless such individual is housed within a separate unit with individuals of the same age grouping.
    3. for such persons who are housed within a separate unit of a state hospital or inpatient unit of a state mental health center under the direction and control of the Department of Mental Health, provide by April 1, 1985, for the development of living arrangements, staffing, mental health services, and other programs appropriate to their age grouping.
  2. The Department of Mental Health is hereby directed to develop by April 1, 1985 plans to address the special needs for the care and treatment of other mentally ill persons between the ages of nineteen and twenty-two.
  3. The Department of Mental Health is hereby directed to utilize all resources of the Chapter 766 program so that persons who are eligible for Chapter 766 services are not retained or allowed to reside in any state hospital or inpatient unit of a state mental health center, even if housed within a separate unit with individuals of the same age grouping, unless there are no other less restrictive, more appropriate alternatives available.

Given at the Executive Chamber in Boston this 26th day of July in the year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred and eighty-four, and of the Independence of the United States of America two hundred and nine.

MICHAEL S. DUKAKISMICHAEL JOSEPH CONNOLLY
GovernorSecretary of the Commonwealth
Commonwealth of Massachusetts



This information is provided by the Department of Mental Health