Legislative Reports

DMH Legislative Reports

Department of Mental Health Report on the Distribution of Funds, January 2019

This report is prepared in response to a stipulation in the FY2019 budget requiring the Department of Mental Health (DMH) to submit to the House and Senate Committees on Ways and Means the distribution of funds per adult and child planning population and the types of mental health services the funding supports in each Area.

This report reflects for a given year the spending per planning population for a given geographical area for adult and child/adolescent population.

Massachusetts Child Psychiatry Access Project (MCPAP) Service Report FY18 and FY19

This brief report responds to a request from the Massachusetts House and Senate Ways and Means Committees for information about the Massachusetts Child Psychiatry Access Program (MCPAP). The information in this report includes FY18 and FY19 data on the psychiatric consultations, face-to-face consultations, and referrals made to specialists on behalf of children with behavioral health needs; MCPAP’s care coordination efforts (in FY18, renamed “resource and referral services”); and recommendations on ways to address the shortage of behavioral health specialists in the Commonwealth as well as ways to support pediatric primary care practices in their care coordination efforts.

DDS/DMH Joint Agency Autism Plan Report

The Autism Omnibus Bill (Chapter 226 of the Acts of 2014) included a section requiring DDS and DMH to develop a plan to provide services to those with both severe mental illness and a developmental disability.  This plan was submitted to the legislature December 31, 2015.  It establishes how DDS and DMH will work together to understand and provide appropriate services, develop the workforce through training, and use a multi-strategic approach in the best interests of those with Autism Spectrum Disorder and severe and persistent mental illness.

Children’s Behavioral Health Knowledge Center Annual Report 2016-2017

Established under the provisions of Chapter 321 of the Acts of 2008: An Act Relative to Children’s Mental Health, the mission of the Children’s Behavioral Health (CBH) Knowledge Center is to ensure that:

  • The workforce of clinicians and direct care staff providing children’s behavioral health services are highly skilled and well-trained;
  • The services provided to children in the Commonwealth are cost-effective and evidence-based; and
  • The Commonwealth continues to develop and evaluate new models of service delivery.

The Children’s Behavioral Health Knowledge Center is located at the Department of Mental Health (DMH) in the Child, Youth, and Family Services Division. As part of the DMH state mental health authority role, the Knowledge Center's purview is the entire children’s behavioral health system, across Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) agencies and public and private payers.

The Knowledge Center fills a gap in the children’s behavioral health system by serving as an information hub through its Annual Symposium, website, workshops, and webinars. Center staff work with colleagues who are developing, implementing, and advocating for practices, programs, and service delivery models that are based on the best available evidence about what works to improve outcomes for young people. As an intermediary organization, the Center’s activities facilitate connection among the rich array of children’s behavioral health researchers, program developers, providers, practitioners, and consumer advocates in Massachusetts. The Center’s projects generally focus on the application, not the production, of research knowledge.

Enhanced Outpatient Treatment Pilot Fiscal Year 2019

The Enhanced Outpatient Treatment pilot program (formerly known as the Assisted Outpatient Treatment) was established by special funding from the Legislature to the Department of Mental Health in FY2019. The Enhanced Outpatient Treatment pilot program has been providing service to the identified population for approximately 18 months. The program supports an under-served population of individuals who demonstrate a high need of mental health services yet do not maintain a consistent connection with outpatient services. The Eliot Outpatient Clinic located in Everett was utilized as the location for this pilot program. All services and supports provided to individuals in this program are voluntary.

State Behavioral Health Assessment and Plan Reports

The Department of Mental health receives Mental Health Block Grant funds each year from the Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS) at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) for community mental health services.  The State Behavioral Health Assessment and Plan is submitted to SAMHSA on a 2-year cycle as a condition of receiving Block Grant funds. Here are the most recent reports:

FY2018 Mid-Year Report on Jail/Arrest Diversion Grant Program

This report provides information regarding Department of Mental Health (DMH) funded police-based jail diversion programs and summarizes the DMH supported mental health and law enforcement collaborative jail diversion initiatives in Massachusetts to date.

There is a longstanding recognition that persons with mental illness are over-represented in the criminal justice system. While some arrests are necessary and appropriate, there are others in which individuals with mental illness might more appropriately be diverted into mental health and other treatment services in lieu of arrest and/or incarceration. The concept of “jail diversion” as it relates to the criminal justice system has many meanings. Different diversion programs target different points along the criminal justice continuum and a jail diversion program (JDP) may relate to programs that provide alternatives to incarceration or those that avoid arrest and courts altogether.

Law enforcement-based jail diversion programs seek to redirect individuals with behavioral health disorders from the criminal justice system into treatment when appropriate and safe to do so at the point prior to arrest. In addition, these programs seek to enhance public safety by identifying strategies that can be safe and effective in handling acute situations in which police are called regarding a person who is in an emotional crisis.

Strengthening Public Access for Children and Youth Report FY2019

This report provides an overview of strengthened public access to mental health services for children and adolescents.  The Department continues to invest its existing resources in strengthening access to quality mental health services for all children and youth, and youth 16-24 in particular, as well as youth reached through partnerships with day care centers, schools and community agencies.

Massachusetts Alcohol and Substance Abuse Center (MASAC) Report

The Massachusetts Alcohol and Substance Abuse Center (MASAC) report is prepared in response to Section 57 of Chapter 47 of the Acts of 2017, which amended General Laws Chapter 123, Section 35.  This amendment requires  Commissioner of Mental Health submit an annual report detailing whether a facility other than the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Bridgewater, Massachusetts Alcohol and Substance Abuse Center (MASAC) is being used for the treatment of males committed to MASAC under Section 35, and the number of persons so committed to such other facilities in the previous year.