DMH Child, Youth, and Family Services Overview

A brief overview of services offered by the Department of Mental Health

Welcome to the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health (DMH) webpage, this information is here to help you connect with the best services and resources to meet your mental health needs or the needs of someone in your life. DMH is one of the state agencies that work with providers and health plans to help people in Massachusetts with their mental health related needs.  Call/text 833-773-2445 or visit to live chat with a representative about all services and supports available in Massachusetts. This service is free and available 24/7.

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) provides additional services for children, youth and adults with the most serious mental health needs. We hope that the information on this website will provide useful information to help you find the right services for you or your loved one.

Our DMH local area offices are available to direct you to resources in your community, or help you apply for DMH services. Please use our city/town directory  to find the area office that serves you

DMH Services Available Without Submitting a DMH Application

Consultation and Education


DMH provides expert clinical consultation, education, and training to a wide range of individuals, agencies and organizations.


Information and Referral


Comprehensive network of referral and response to requests for information and assistance from individuals, organizations and other state agencies seeking resources about child mental health conditions and services.


Juvenile Forensic Court Services


Juvenile Court Clinic Forensic Services provide clinical and forensic mental health evaluations and consultation to the Trial Court and Probation Department as well as help to families in accessing community services.


Massachusetts Child Psychiatry Access Program (MCPAP)


MCPAP provides pediatricians and primary care physicians quick access to psychiatric consultation and facilitates referrals for accessing ongoing behavioral health care. MCPAP offers training and support to PCPs treating youth with behavioral health challenges; and supports practices to integrate behavioral health resources and work with behavioral health providers. MCPAP is available for all children and families, through their primary care providers, regardless of insurance. Learn More.


School and Community Therapeutic Support



Parent and Family Support Services - Provides information and support to families of children with mental health challenges. Includes information and referral; individual community advocacy; parent support groups; targeted supports; and expedited access to services for parents with mental illness.


Community and School Therapeutic Supports - Provides consultation and assistance to schools and the community that support youth with significant mental health needs and their families. 


Young Adult Access Centers

Young adults may engage in some community programs without service authorization from DMH. These opportunities include young adult access centers listed here:


DMH Services Requiring a DMH application and Service Authorization

Child, Youth and Family Case Management

Case Management provides comprehensive mental health and family assessment as well as individual service planning, coordination of DMH funded services, and linkage to other community supports.

Flexible Support Services

Flexible Support Services include Clinical Services, Therapeutic Support, Young Adult Peer Mentoring, and Parent/Caregiver Peer Support designed to prevent out-of-home placement, maintain the youth with his/her family, help the youth function successfully in the community, and assist families in supporting the growth and recovery of their child.  These services are provided through three modalities: Flexible Support Teams, Flexible Support Groups, and Individual Practitioners.   Emergency Department (ED) diversion teams are also included in this category of services.

Day Services

Therapeutic After School Programs provide youth with recreational and skill building activities and clinical services in a structured environment.

Intensive Community Services

Intensive Community Services (ICS) includes a range of in home and out of home services for youth, young adults, and their families who are involved with DMH.   ICS provides clinically intensive treatment and outreach support to help build, strengthen, and maintain youths’ connections to family, home, and community.  ICS Services include Intensive Home-Based Therapeutic Care, Therapeutic Group Care, and Young Adult Therapeutic Care. Learn more:


Clinically Intensive Residential Treatment (CIRT)


The CIRT provides clinically intensive residential intervention for children ages 6-12 in a staff-secure setting.  The CIRT is for children whose needs exceed community-based services and require specialized, comprehensive, onsite individual/family clinical support.  This service also includes on-site educational programming provided by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE).

Intensive Residential Treatment Programs (IRTP)

The IRTPs provide clinically intensive residential treatment intervention for adolescents ages 13-18 in a locked environment. The IRTPs are for adolescents whose needs exceed community-based services and require specialized, comprehensive, onsite individual/family clinical support.  These services also include on-site educational programming provided by DESE.

Young Adults

Young adults ages 16-24 receive treatment services across the continuum of care within Child, Youth & Family Services and Adult Services, in some cases receiving a combination of services to best meet their unique needs.


Continuing Care Inpatient Service

The Continuing Care Inpatient Service provides locked psychiatric hospital level of care for adolescents ages 13-18 who require the most clinically intensive treatment available in the state.  The service also includes on-site educational programming provided by DESE.  Most adolescents are referred by acute inpatient providers when extended, specialized psychiatric treatment is indicated.  Some adolescents may be referred by the Court for a short-term forensic evaluation or psychiatric treatment.

Program for Assertive Community Treatment for Youth (PACT-Y)

PACT-Y is a comprehensive service for individuals under the age of 22 with serious emotional disturbance who have not responded well to traditional office- and/or community-based services and interventions, and may benefit from intensive, coordinated, and comprehensive services that are provided by one integrated, multi-disciplinary, community-based team - the PACT-Y Team. The service targets those Youth with the most challenging and persistent mental and behavioral health needs who are living in their communities but for whom other community-based behavioral health services have not resulted in sustained success for them to remain in their communities.   (Include link to PACT-Y one pager)

Additional Supports and DMH Applications

Call/text 833-773-2445 or visit to live chat with a representative about all services and supports available in Massachusetts. This service is free and available 24/7.

Applications for Child, Youth, and Family Services (Multiple Languages Available)

How to Apply for Child, Youth, and Family Services (Instructions on Completing and Submitting the Application)

Find your Nearest DMH Office (choose your town from the list)

Contact   for DMH Child, Youth, and Family Services Overview


Massachusetts Behavioral Health Help Line Massachusetts BHHL 


Available Monday through Friday 9am-5pm

This voicemail box is checked regularly Monday through Friday. Calls are returned within 48 hours.

Call or Text 24/7


Central Office
25 Staniford St., Boston, MA 02114

Help Us Improve  with your feedback

Please do not include personal or contact information.