Access to Services

Receiving the proper services can greatly improve the lives of children with behavioral health challenges. However, accessing and paying for these services is often difficult for parents. The Children’s Mental Health Campaign is working to ensure that all children are able to receive the care they need, when they need it. 


State and federal parity laws require most health insurers to cover mental health and substance abuse treatment for children under the same terms and conditions as they cover other medical services. CMHC advocates to improve oversight and enforcement of these important laws. If you feel that your rights under the parity law have been violated, please contact Health Law Advocates.

PEDIATRIC Behavioral Health Urgent Care

In early 2015, the Children's Mental Health Campaign (CMHC) launched a multi-year project to gather data to define clearly the scope of issues that lead to Emergency Department (ED) boarding and to use that data to inform a set of solutions to the problem. Based on this project, the Children’s Mental Health Campaign (CMHC) began to study one solution: behavioral health urgent care for children. Our newest publication, Report on Pediatric Behavioral Health Urgent Care 2nd edition, examines the behavioral health needs of children, adolescents, and their families. It specifically explores and describes the care elements necessary for responding to the urgent behavioral health needs of children and adolescents, including those with co-occurring autism spectrum disorders and intellectual/developmental disabilities (ASD/IDD).


The CMHC has received a grant from the C.F. Adams Charitable Trust with the goal of developing a better understanding of psychiatric "boarding," a problem facing children and adolescents with behavioral health disorders, their caregivers, health care providers, and hospitals across the Commonwealth.

Mental Health Payment Reform

In 2012, the Massachusetts Legislature passed Chapter 224, a massive payment reform law to control health care cost growth through increased price transparency, adoption of alternative payment methods, investments in wellness and prevention, and an expanded primary care workforce. CMHC is working to ensure that Chapter 224 also strengthens the behavioral health system of care. This law created the Behavioral Health Integration Task Force to examine services provided for behavioral health, substance use disorder, and mental health treatment and reimbursement practices for these services.