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Guide Finding Mental Health Support in Massachusetts

Finding Mental Health support can be challenging. Most mental health services are delivered in outpatient and community settings paid for by insurance, including MassHealth. This includes outpatient services (medication and therapy), crisis services and hospital services.

DMH provides specialized mental health services that help people to live, work and fully participate in their community. This guide will show you how to find supports and services that are appropriate for your needs.

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Getting 24 Hour Emergency and Crisis Support - 1 (877) 382-1609

If you or a family member are experiencing a mental health or substance use disorder crisis, the Emergency Services Program/Mobile Crisis Intervention (ESP/MCI) is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.  Anyone may contact ESP/MCI for assistance.

Call toll-free at 1 (877) 382-1609, anytime, day or night.

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Contact Your Insurer

Most mental health services are delivered in outpatient and community settings paid for by insurance, including MassHealth. If you have private health insurance, contact your insurance provider (the number on the back of your health insurance card is best) to see what services might be available to you through your provider. 

  • For individuals insured by MassHealth (Medicaid in MA), contact the member services number on your MassHealth card, or consult with your primary care physician.
  • For individuals insured by Medicare, contact the primary care physician’s office or Medicare for a referral to counseling services. 1 (800) MEDICARE (or 1-800-633-4227).
  • Individuals who do not have health insurance can obtain coverage through the MA Health Connector.

Unsure What Your Needs Are? Try these Resources.

Finding the right supports for your needs can be difficult. Thankfully, there are several free websites and help lines that can help you in the right direction. 

Massachusetts Network of Care: An online resource that provides a comprehensive, searchable directory to help Massachusetts residents find information on behavioral health services and treatment in their communities. Network of Care Massachusetts includes a directory of over 5,000 programs and organizations across the Commonwealth, searchable by keyword and zip code. For each listing, users can find a program description and contact information, as well as information on populations served, relevant eligibility and fee information, and more. Learn more at www.massachusetts.networkofcare.org

NAMI Compass: COMPASS is the information and referral helpline at NAMI Massachusetts. They provide resources and support to help people navigate the complex mental health system and problem solve in difficult circumstances.The COMPASS helpline is manned by people with experience navigating the mental health system for themselves or a loved one, including volunteer and staff Navigators. Trained Navigators are available to answer a wide range of questions and refer to community resources.

The COMPASS helpline is available Monday through Friday, 9 am – 5 pm. Call the helpline at 617-704-6264 or 1-800-370-9085, or email them at compass@namimass.org. Learn More about NAMI Compass

Massachusetts Substance Use Helpline: The Helpline is the only statewide, public resource for finding substance use treatment and recovery services. Helpline services are free and confidential. Caring, trained Specialists will help you understand the treatment system and your options. Call the helpline at 1-800-327-5050 or visit the website to learn more

SAMHSA National Helpline: SAMHSA’s National Helpline, 1-800-662-HELP (4357), (also known as the Treatment Referral Routing Service) or TTY: 1-800-487-4889 is a confidential, free, 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year, information service, in English and Spanish, for individuals and family members facing mental and/or substance use disorders. This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations. Callers can also order free publications and other information. Visit the website to learn more.

Learn More About DMH Service Eligibility

Most mental health services, including medication and therapy are provided through health insurance – MassHealth (Medicaid), the Massachusetts Health Connector (health insurance marketplace) or through private insurance (employer-based). 

The Department of Mental Health (DMH) has a specialized role in the healthcare delivery system.  DMH provides supplemental services for people with the most serious needs.  These services are beyond those supplied through health insurance and require approval by DMH. Learn more about DMH eligibility

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