The Massachusetts Health Policy Forum is hosting a virtual forum, Roadmap to Behavioral Health in Western Massachusetts, from 10:00 - 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, December 1, 2022.
The COVID Pandemic exacerbated a behavioral health crisis particularly in Western Massachusetts. The 2020 statewide COVID-19 Community Impact Survey (CCIS) reported that in western MA, one in three respondents (33%) reported 15 or more poor mental health days in the past 30 days. The lack of access to culturally competent mental health and substance use disorder treatment in rural and under-resourced urban areas is having a devastating impact on individuals, families and communities.
This forum will examine the depth and causes of the crisis and potential solutions. It will also look at recently passed Mental Health ABC: Addressing Barriers to Care and the state's Roadmap for Behavioral Health.
After a welcome from Secretary Marylou Sudders and Dr. Mark Keroack, President & CEO of Baystate Health, Audrey Shelto, President & CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation will provide an overview of state action and moderate a panel of Western Massachusetts experts in the field. Jessica Collins, Executive Director, Public Health Institute of Western Massachusetts will provide insight into behavioral health community needs in Western Massachusetts. Tania Barber, President & CEO of Caring Health Center will give ground level insight into patient needs from the community health perspective and Steven Winn, the President & CEO of Behavioral Health Network will provide insight into state legislation and needs in the commonwealth and Western Massachusetts. This event was made possible by generous funding from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts and Baystate Health.