Budget Advocacy

Help ENSURE THAT CHILDREN'S MENTAL HEALTH IS SUPPORTED IN THE FY19 BUDGET - TAKE ACTION

OVERVIEW OF THE CAMPAIGN'S BUDGET PRIORITIES

Increased access to behavioral health services: DEEC LINE ITEM #3000-6075

The Department of Mental Health and the Department of Early Education and Care are working collaboratively to better meet the behavioral health needs of young children. Resources are requested to support the inter-agency implementation of infant and early childhood mental health services and supports.

FY18 Funding

FY19 CMHC Ask

FY19 H2

FY19 House

FY19 Senate

$50,000

$125,000

$50,000 presumed

No earmark

 

 


Mental Health Consultations in Child Care Settings: DEEC line item #3000-6075

The Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation Service Program provides social and emotional development supports and guidance for early education programs serving young children, from age birth to five. The services promote the well-being of all children in a classroom and the specific needs of children with emotional and behavioral challenges.

FY18 Funding

FY19 CMHC Ask

FY19 H2

FY19 House

FY19 Senate

$2.5M

$2.5M

$2.5M

 

 


Massachusetts Child Psychiatry Access Project (MCPAP): DMH line item #5042-5000

MCPAP meets a critical need in promoting capacity for behavioral health in primary care at a time when integration efforts brought about health care payment reform are taking shape. For example, MCPAP has been instrumental in helping PCPs meet their legal obligation to perform mental health screenings by providing assistance with diagnosis and treatment planning to the PCPs for more than 98% of the youth in the Commonwealth.

Approximately 50-60% of children served by MCPAP are privately insured. The CMHC urges continuation of language requiring commercial insurers to cover the cost of serving their members.

FY18 Funding

FY19 CMHC Ask

FY19 H2

FY19 House

FY19 Senate

$3.7M

$3.6M

$3.6M presumed

No earmark

 

 


Adolescent Substance Abuse Screening (SBIRT): DPH Line Items #4590-0250, #4512-0200, #4590-0250

Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) is a set of tools that helps identify alcohol or drug use and guides follow-up counseling and treatment if a problem exists. With adolescents, SBIRT is an effective prevention and early intervention strategy. Training school nurses, guidance counselors, and other support staff in SBIRT enhances a school’s ability to identify risky substance use, provide a brief intervention, and prevent illness and injury.

FY18 Funding

FY19 CMHC Ask

FY19 H2

FY19 House

FY19 Senate

$1.4M

$700,000

Appears adequate

No earmark

 

 


Substance Use Prevention, Education, and Screening Trust Fund: Line Item #1595-0025, H2 Outside Section 13

The Governor’s H2 proposal includes language similar to a proposal in the CARE Act creating a trust fund to support substance use prevention efforts in K-12 schools and colleges, with a $5M allocation. We urge the legislature to fully fund the trust. Additionally, we hope the legislature will amend the language in order to:

  • ensure funds may be leveraged to support districts in the ongoing implementation and administration of the SBIRT mandate set forth in the STEP Act;
  • require a panel of experts in children’s behavioral health and adolescent substance use prevention and treatment to serve as an advisory to the Trust; and,
  • establish a minimum standard of “evidence informed“ be adopted in selecting programs for funding through the Trust, and allow fund to support validation of promising practices, especially those that target at-risk youth, including youth of color and LGBTQ youth.

FY18 Funding

FY19 CMHC Ask

FY19 H2

FY19 House

FY19 Senate

N/A

$5M, new language

$5M

 

 


Mental Health Advocacy Program for Kids: DCF Line Item #4800-0200

MHAP for Kids is a highly sought after service initially piloted in the Lowell and Lynn Family Resource Centers (FRCs). MHAP for Kids improves the mental health of youth who have been diverted from juvenile court or are already court-involved and have unmet mental health needs by providing these children with a legal advocate trained in removing barriers to treatment. MHAP for Kids attorneys aim to divert children from possible or further court involvement, help children thrive in school, reduce family conflict, and minimize costly emergency room treatment. The program is support through a combination of public and private funds, and it is designed to be replicable in other FRCs. MHAP 4 Kids is expanding to the Boston FRC in 2018.

FY18 Funding

FY19 CMHC Ask

FY19 H2

FY19 House

FY19 Senate

$50,000

$200,000

$50,000 presumed

No earmark language

 

 


Return to School “Bridge” Programs: DPH Line Item #4590-0250

The focus of Bridge programs is to ensure that youth who have been out of school for psychiatric or other hospitalizations can successfully transition back to school. Many districts already have these innovative programs, which provide emotional and academic support to students who have missed 5 or more days of school due to a mental health crisis, hospitalization, or serious medical problem. 50% of US high school students with serious mental illness drop out of school. Bridge programs are changing that script for Massachusetts youth with a short-term intervention that reduces drop-out rates to 8%.

FY18 Funding

FY19 CMHC Ask

FY19 H2

FY19 House

FY19 Senate

N/A

$250,000

$0

 

 


Learn more about the Massachusetts Budget Process here.