Attorney General Awards $8 Million in Grants to Support Behavioral Health Services Across Massachusetts

  • May 20, 2014

Attorney General Office

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                     

MEDIA CONTACT: Jillian Fennimore,  (617) 727-2543


May 20, 2014                                                                                     



22 Organizations to Receive Funding for a Range of Projects to Improve Delivery of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services

BOSTON – To advance the goal of reducing the stigma associated with seeking help for mental illness and substance abuse, Attorney General Martha Coakley has awarded close to $8 million to a total of 22 organizations across the Commonwealth to increase access to behavioral health services.

Utilizing funds recovered by the AG’s Office through a settlement with Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, the Increasing Access to and Measuring the Benefits of Providing Behavioral Health Services in Massachusetts grant program (Behavioral Health Grant) supports new projects from a total of 22 organizations which improve the delivery of mental health and substance abuse services in Massachusetts in order to improve public health, welfare, and safety.

“Addressing access to mental health care and substance abuse treatment with the same urgency as physical health care is essential to thousands of families across our Commonwealth,” AG Coakley said. “The programs supported by these funds will help end the stigma around behavioral health care and improve access to critical health services for families in every corner of Massachusetts.”

Recipients of the Behavioral Health Grants will build on or create programs to improve the delivery of services to underserved populations in Massachusetts by reducing crime, violence, suicide, or homelessness, or by improving care for veterans, children, victims of violence, low-income populations, and other underserved populations who have difficulty obtaining or adhering to appropriate treatments and services.

The range of projects funded over a two-year period involve direct care, public awareness, training, screenings and referral. The following 22 organizations will receive grants to serve several communities throughout the Commonwealth:

  • Alliance for Inclusion and Prevention: Placing clinicians in 18 Boston Public Schools offering services for students with anxiety, trauma-related disorders, disruptive disorders, and depression. (Servicing: Boston)
  • Boston Area Rape Crisis Center: Youth Access to Support and Services (YASS) project will increase access to services for youth victims of sexual violence ages 12-21 who need to address immediate and long term mental health needs. (Servicing: 90 towns and communities in Greater Boston, Lowell, the Merrimack Valley and Central Massachusetts)
  • Bay Cove Human Services: Supporting homeless seniors with an Adult Day Health program which will include transportation, shelter, counseling, recovery support groups, and information and referrals on healthcare, advocacy, and housing issues. (Servicing: Boston)
  • Berkshire Medical Center (Berkshire Health Systems): Telepsychiatry network will use video conferencing to connect acute care providers and patients in the most rural sections of the region to better evaluate and treat patients locally. (Servicing: Berkshire County)
  • Boston Health Care for the Homeless: Expanding behavioral health and substance abuse services to The Pine Street Inn and the New England Center for Homeless.
  • Danvers Public Schools: Licensed psychologist will provide on-site counseling to staff and students. Four trainings will be held for Danvers staff and community members, focusing on mental health topics and coping skills.
  • Gosnold Inc. of Cape Cod: Telepsychiatry will provide mental health and substance abuse treatment to patients living in remote, underserved areas in Barnstable County through video conferencing. It connects patients, psychiatrists, physicians, and other healthcare professionals through the use of television cameras and microphones. (Servicing: Falmouth, Mashpee, Centerville, Orleans, Provincetown, Hyannis)
  • HomeBase Program: Educate and train first responders, patient care and rehabilitation service professionals to improve their understanding of and ability to assist impacted veterans and families. (Servicing: Statewide)
  • Institute for Health and Recovery: Provide behavioral health treatment, case management and resource coordination to individuals and families affected by poverty, homelessness or lack of housing stability. (Servicing: Danvers, Chelmsford, Haverhill, Methuen)
  • Judge Baker Children’s Center: Placing mental health clinicians in local elementary and middle schools to fill the gap in behavioral health services for children with undiagnosed and untreated mental health disorders. (Servicing: Plymouth, Rockland, Wareham)
  • Justice Resource Institute: Helping girls, boys, and transgender youth ages 12-17 who are victims, or at high-risk for commercial sexual exploitation, exit or avoid the sex industry. (Servicing: Boston, Brookline, Acton)
  • Lynn Community Health Center: Providing comprehensive behavioral health services to at-risk children and youth in three elementary schools and the Early Childhood Center, in partnership with the Lynn Public Schools.
  • Lynn Police Department: The Diversion Program will provide assessment services, short term treatment, and referrals to mental health and substance abuse services.
  • Massachusetts Mental Health Center (Department of Mental Health): Smoking Cessation Care Management Program designed for patients with serious mental illness that includes assessment, personalized motivational enhancement strategies, patient-centered decision support tools, and evidence-based treatments to identify, engage, and support patients. (Servicing: Boston)
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness Massachusetts: Launching an anti-stigma campaign featuring hundreds of families from all walks of life, across Massachusetts, who will share their personal stories of mental illness on video. (Servicing: Statewide)
  • Riverside Community Care: Transitional Community Support Program will use a mobile community based team to conduct a person-centered needs assessment and service planning process providing an array of services tailored to help clients engage in services that meet their needs. (Servicing: Norfolk County, Newton)
  • ServiceNet, Inc.: Providing mental health and substance abuse treatment for the homeless population by integrating clinical treatment with case management through a multi-disciplinary team of social workers, peer mentors, and nurses. (Servicing: Berkshire, Franklin, Hampshire Counties)
  • Spectrum Health Systems: Recovery Support Navigators will work with opioid-addicted individuals pre- and post-release from the state prison system to facilitate treatment. (Servicing: Worcester County)
  • Stanley Street Treatment & Resources, Inc.: The District Attorney’s Office will refer non-violent drug offenders and drug offenders with mental illness for immediate access to mental health and substance abuse services, a treatment plan, drug testing, and case management. (Servicing: New Bedford, Fall River)
  • The Sharewood Project: Free health care organization open to all ages offering quality health care services founded by a group of physicians and Tufts University medical students. (Servicing: Greater Boston)
  • Tufts Medical Center: Autism Behavior Consultation Program that will use intensive treatment targeting the child, family, and community with evidence-based interventions and techniques, and collaborating with providers at schools and in mental health agencies where necessary. (Servicing: Boston)
  • Whittier Street Health Center: Improving the delivery of mental health and substance abuse services to underserved populations by developing a Behavioral Health Urgent Care component within the existing Urgent Care Clinic, which will treat same-day behavioral health emergencies that do not require the emergency department. (Servicing: Roxbury, Dorchester, Hyde Park, Jamaica Plain, South End, Mattapan)

Additional details of each program can be found on the AG’s website here. 


Frederica M. Williams, President and CEO of Whittier Street Health Center

“Despite significant expansion in our Behavioral Health and Substance Abuse services, the demand for mental health and substance abuse services is reaching a crisis point for our vulnerable populations in Boston’s urban neighborhoods. This grant from the Attorney General’s Office will allow us to add an Urgent Care component within our Urgent Care Clinic to provide immediate access to high quality care, and decreasing unnecessary Emergency Department visits.”

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