Massachusetts expanding its mental health care resources
Massachusetts is most likely to benefit from the introduction of 415 new addiction and psychiatric treatment beds by the end of 2016. This significant step forward for the state adds to the 300 beds already set up during Governor Charlie Baker’s first year in office through the Executive Office of Health and Human Services.
A quick look at Massachusetts behavioral health
- Massachusetts is home to approximately 6.5 million residents, out of which nearly 211,000 live with a serious mental health condition. About 67,000 children are battling a serious mental illness
- Massachusetts’ mental health system services only 41 percent of adults battling a serious mental illness within the state
- In the past year, drug deaths increased by 13 percent from 12.1 to 13.7 per 100,000.
- As of Dec. 1, 2014, a month prior Baker assuming office, there were just over 4,000 beds across all spectrums of care
Inadequate inpatient treatment options have been a prime concern for activists and the families of individuals seeking assistance to recuperate from drug and alcohol addictions. The waiting lists for some residential programs stretched as long as six months, while treatment professionals often witnessed patients relapse after leaving detox due to a lack of treatment programs that could accommodate them.
Positive change in treatment availability
The probable addition of 700 new beds over a few years would be a remarkable boost to the present treatment infrastructure.
“Most of the beds are going to end up being privately created,” Baker remarked at an event in Boston. “I think a combination of some of the statutory changes that have taken place, the funding that’s been made available for this – you’re going to see people responding creatively.”
The recent push for expanding accommodations in mental health care comes mostly from the increasing demand for treatment, finally shattering years of silence regarding addiction.
Another important element in play is the legislation known as Chapter 258, which took effect in October. The law requires all insurance companies to pledge their clients up to 14 days in detox and post-detox programs.
For now, the main concern is to create availability of these beds to as diverse a range of patients as possible.
Treatment beds opened under the Baker administration include:
- 69 detox beds
- 28 post-detox, transitional beds
- 81 residential recovery beds for adults
- 74 psychiatric beds for adults
- 50 Section 35 beds at Plymouth County Correctional Facility
Proposed beds that could/will open during 2016 include:
- 43 Section 35 beds for women at Lemuel Shattuck State Hospital
- 53 additional Section 35 beds for women at Taunton State Hospital
- 87 detox beds
- 100 post-detox, transitional beds
- 73 psychiatric beds for adults
- 30 psychiatric beds for seniors
- 24 psychiatric beds for youth
The Sovereign Health Group is a leading behavioral health center, committed to treating addiction, mental illness and co-occurring disorders. We are always at the forefront of mental health discussions, working tirelessly to not only provide evidence-based treatment but also fight the stigma that discourages many from getting the help they need. If you are currently struggling to regain control of your life, call us right away through our 24/7 helpline.
Written by Sana Ahmed, Sovereign Health Group writer