HCN News & Notes

Governor, HHS Secretary Discuss Investments in Behavioral Health

BOSTON — Gov. Charlie Baker and Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders met this week with members of the mental-health community to discuss the governor’s fiscal year 2019 budget, which calls for a significant increase in funding as well as other investments in behavioral health.

“Our administration is pleased to have included a historic investment in our budget to strengthen behavioral-health services in the Commonwealth,” Baker said. “We must continue to confront the stigma that surrounds mental illness and substance-abuse disorders and improve access to treatment and recovery.”

The Baker administration’s FY 19 budget supports new investments in the Commonwealth’s behavioral healthcare system. Specifically, the budget recommends $83.8 million for the Department of Mental Health (DMH) to strengthen community-based services for adults with mental illness. 

“Mental illness knows no social or economic boundaries,” Sudders said. “It is our responsibility to ensure that, when we speak about healthcare, it includes treatment for mental illness, substance misuse, and co-occurring illnesses.”

The administration’s FY 19 budget supports funding for DMH’s overhauled community-based service, called Adult Community Clinical Services, which will more effectively meet the needs of approximately 11,000 adults with long-term, serious mental illness. Key features include strong clinical integration and active engagement to meet an individual’s medical and behavioral healthcare needs, including co-occurring treatment interventions; a comprehensive individual plan of care to meet changing needs, with specific attention to young adults and older adults; a strong focus on achieving self-sufficiency; and integration with the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission and other employment services.