Children's Behavioral Health in the News

Children with mental illness need an advocate

July 17, 2019 - Boston Globe

Some of the state’s most vulnerable children — those with serious mental health issues — continue to have difficulty accessing the care they so desperately need. Meanwhile, the Baker administration has chosen to appeal the court monitoring that has at least brought some improvements to the system. [MORE]...

Struggling to find doctors in network, Massachusetts advocates push for transparency in insurance provider directories

May 8, 2019 - 

Parents, therapists and advocates pushed for the passage for legislation that would make insurance companies update their provider directories, a move that supporters say would make a huge difference for families seeking urgent medical help.  [MORE]...

Lawmakers begin vetting health care system changes.

May 7, 2019 - WCVB5 

BOSTON — As the Legislature gears up to take another run at making comprehensive reforms to health care, lawmakers and health care executives on Tuesday pitched a variety of ideas they said would help to control the cost of care in Massachusetts. [MORE]...

Urgent Care On Demand, Except This Time For Mental Health

April 19, 2019 - WBUR

The sleepless nights and dull, meaningless days began last summer. In the late fall, Grace, who asks that we just use her middle name, stopped taking her medication for depression and anxiety. It wasn’t helping. By mid-winter, Grace says she often struggled to get through a day. [MORE]...

Long ER waits persist for children in mental health crises

July 17, 2018 - Boston Globe 

Some patients with mental illness, particularly children, are spending days stuck in tiny windowless rooms in hospital emergency departments waiting for treatment, a persistent problem despite new statewide rules designed to resolve the backlogs. From February through May, 155 patients in mental health crisis spent at least four consecutive days in an emergency room, according to Massachusetts officials who began gathering the data six months ago. A few patients slept or “boarded’’ in the ER for two weeks. [MORE]...

Danna Mauch and Senator Warren support increase in mental health funding.

December 24,2017
SouthCoast Today
We all know someone who has dealt with a mental health condition — a friend, a family member, a partner, a co-worker, a neighbor. Nearly one in five adults experience mental illness each year, and about 10 million Americans experience a serious mental illness that substantially impacts their major life activities. [MORE]...

The Campaign's Psychiatric Boarding Project
December 24,2017 
Springfield- "Boarding is the canary in the coal mine of a broken system," said Kate Ginnis, director of behavioral health advocacy and policy at Boston Children's Hospital and part of the leadership team of the Children's Mental Health Campaign, a statewide advocacy coalition for children's mental health. [MORE]...

Advocates Applaud The Legislature's Opioid Bill-Press Release
March 10, 2016
Addiciton Free Futures Project
BostonThe Addictions Free Future Project, led by the Children’s Mental Health Campaign, applauds the Legislature for passing its comprehensive Opioid Bill, which includes important preventative measures. The bill has been passed by the House and Senate and is on its way to the Governor’s desk...[MORE]

Governor Baker signs opioid 
March 16, 2016
Boston Globe
BostonIn an emotional ceremony, Governor Charlie Baker on Monday signed into law a measure that places tighter state control on opioids, in an effort to stanch the supply of the addictive drugs...[MORE]

Senate moves swiftly to hault an epidemic
October 6, 2015
Sentinel & Enterprise
Boston—So far, so good on Sen. Jennifer Flanagan's legislation that attacks the opioid epidemic with measures aimed at preventing people from getting addicted to heroin and opiate-prescription drugs in the first place...[MORE]

Drug-screening tool nothing new
October 4, 2015
John Bishop, Lowell Sun
Boston—Although SBIRT is an acronym most people were unfamiliar with until Sen. Jennifer Flanagan's recent push to screen public-school students as a tool to fight the state's opioid epidemic, the program has been around a long time...[MORE]

Senate opioid bill's student screening provision sparks debate
October 3, 2015
Scott O'Connell, Worcester Telegram
Boston—A new bill passed by the state Senate last week brings the fight against opioid addiction to Massachusetts' schools...[MORE]

Massachusetts Senate Passes Opiate Addiction Prevention Bill
October 2, 2015
Susan Petroni, Framingham Patch
Boston—The Massachusetts Senate passed legislation today to address the ongoing substance abuse crisis in the state, Senator Karen E. Spilka, a Democrat from Ashland, who represents Framingham announced...[MORE]

Baker urges student interviews on drug use 
September 26, 2015
Bryan Dowling, Boston Herald
Boston—Gov. Charlie Baker said the state should “pony up the money” for schools to interview 7th and 10th graders about drug use as proposed in a new bill to combat rising heroin use among youths...[MORE]

Editorial: Taking a stand against opioid addiction
September 25, 2015
Editors, Daily Free Press
Boston—Think back to your middle school health class. Your teacher is standing at the front of the room, ready to pass out workbooks for your newest discussion topic: drug and alcohol addiction...[MORE]

Baker backing Sen. Flanagan drug-screen plan
September  26, 2015
Andy Metzger and Matt Murphy, The Lowell Sun
Boston—Gov. Charlie Baker said Friday he is on board with encouraging schools to verbally screen students for substance use, a strategy pushed by Sen. Jennifer Flanagan and part of legislation set for debate next week in the Senate...[MORE]

Senate Set To Debate In-School Opiate Abuse Screenings
September 10, 2015
Boston—The state Senate is preparing to debate a collection of ways to fight the opiate epidemic in Massachusetts, including a proposal that local schools screen students for opiate abuse...[MORE]

Could Screening Students For Drug Use Curb The Opiate Addiction Crisis?
July 22, 2015
Radio Boston
BOSTON—Amid an opioid addiction crisis, which killed more than 1,000 people last year in Massachusetts, there's a big need for treatment. But some advocates for children say the state should also focus on prevention — and it needs to start early, as soon as middle school...[MORE]

 Legislative Committee OKs bill that aims to screen students for substance abuse
July 16, 2015
Colin Young, Gloucester Times
BOSTON —Sophia Mercado, who battled addiction as a high school student, said Thursday that she felt no one at her public school understood the signs of addiction or how to help a young person struggling with substance abuse...[MORE]

Mass. child advocates want to screen every public school student for substance use
July 16, 2015
Deborah Becker, WBUR
BOSTON — Some advocates for children in Massachusetts are suggesting another way to help stem the opioid epidemic: Beginning with a survey, screen every public school student for substance use...[MORE]

Governor releases Opioid Task Force's 65 recommendations
June 22, 2015
Martha Berbinger, WBUR
BOSTON — One person living in Plymouth County will die today from an overdose of heroin or another opiate. Gov. Charlie Baker says that sobering average, from just one county...[MORE]

Governor announces new pannel on opioids
February 15, 2015
Felice J. Freyer, Boston Globe
An estimated 978 people died of opioid-related overdoses in Massachusetts in 2013 — 46 percent more than the year before. Overdose deaths were more than twice as common as deaths from car and truck crashes... [MORE]

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December 14, 2014
Scott Pelley , 60 Minutes
When insurance companies deny the mentally ill the treatment their doctors prescribe, seriously ill people are often discharged, and can be a danger to themselves or others.

Mass. parents report early logjam for care for mentally ill kids
November 12, 2014
Carey Goldberg/Lisa Lambert, WBUR
It usually happens in spring, the annual back-up of mentally ill kids who need beds in Massachusetts psychiatric hospitals or residential care centers...[MORE]

Panel probes disparity in Mass. behavioral-health spending
October 14, 2014
Andy Metzger, State House News Service
Public health insurance under the state Medicaid program in Massachusetts spends more per person on behavioral health care than commercial plans, according to an analysis recently presented to state regulators..[MORE]

Parity in mental health care a must
August 17, 2014
Kevin Cullen, Boston Globe
A couple of years ago, Dr. Lenny Rappaport at Children’s Hospital told me about a woman who had been turned down by 66 therapists she contacted seeking help for her young son. The therapists either didn’t take her insurance or didn’t take any insurance, because the reimbursement rates were too low...[MORE]

Massachusetts House passes juvenile parole bill
June 18, 2014
The Associated Press
A bill that would allow parole for juveniles convicted of first-degree murder was approved by the Massachusetts House on Wednesday. Under the measure, which passed on a 127-16 vote, people convicted of first-degree murder for crimes that occurred while they were between the ages of 14 and 18 could be eligible for parole after serving 20 to 25 years in prison...[MORE]

Patrick airs $20m plan to  combat opioid use
June 10, 2014
Brian MacQuarrie, Boston Globe
Governor Deval Patrick unveiled plans Tuesday to upgrade treatment for opioid addicts, expand insurance coverage, and coordinate with the other five New England governors to stem an epidemic that has claimed hundreds of lives in Massachusetts since last fall...[MORE]


Nowhere to go: Mentally ill youth in crisis
January 26, 2014
Scott Pelley, 60 Minutes
Scott Pelley reports on severe shortcomings in the state of mental health care for young people in the U.S.



Mental Health Advocate: Patrick's Budget Reduces Services for Children
January 23, 2014
Bob Oakes, WBUR


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