Budget Advocacy

Fiscal Year 2022

The FY22 Budget was signed into law in July and contains a number of initiatives critical to supporting children’s behavioral health. View the final FY22 state budget. 

Our FY2022 budget priorities reflect our comprehensive approach of home, school, and community.

MENTAL HEALTH ADVOCACY PROGRAM FOR KIDS: DCF LINE ITEM #4800-0200

Update: The final FY22 Budget contains $1.5M in funding for MHAP for Kids as part of $25M dedicated to FRCs.

Family Resource Centers (FRCs) report growing mental health needs of families living in communities most impacted by the global pandemic. MHAP for Kids is a highly sought after program forging pathways for at-risk children to difficult-to-access mental health treatment. It is currently situated in the FRCs serving families statewide.

The MHAP for Kids attorneys are highly qualified advocates who eliminate obstacles to mental health services. They aim to divert children from possible or further court involvement, help children thrive in school, and reduce family conflict while minimizing costly emergency department visits and inpatient mental health treatment. Learn more about MHAP for Kids HERE.

This funding will maintain the program in 10 Family Resource Centers (FRCs) and a statewide service area with support from a dedicated intake worker and paralegal as well as expand to the program to two additional FRCs to address the program’s substantial waitlist in the two most populous counties – Middlesex and Worcester.

 

RETURN TO SCHOOL "BRIDGE" PROGRAMS: DPH LINE ITEM #4590-0250

Update: The final FY22 Budget contains $500K in funding for Return to School "Bridge" Programs.

The focus of Bridge programs is to ensure that youth who have been out of school for psychiatric or other hospitalizations can successfully transition back to school. Many districts already have these innovative programs, which provide emotional and academic support to students who have missed 5 or more days of school due to a mental health crisis, hospitalization, or serious medical problem. 50% of US high school students with serious mental illness drop out of school. Bridge programs are changing that script for Massachusetts youth with a short-term intervention that reduces drop-out rates to 8%.

Throughout the pandemic, Bridge programs continue to help schools create effective and efficient structures for helping students struggling with serious mental health and other medical challenges achieve success. Bridge programs have been working with school and district leaders, and entire school faculties across Massachusetts, to integrate school wide strategies and supports to promote mental health and equity for all students and families.

SCHOOL-BASED BEHAVIORAL HEALTH TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE CENTERS: DMH LINE ITEM #5042-5000

Update: The final FY22 Budget contains $150K in funding for SBBH Technical Assistance Centers.

Schools need assistance in building capacity to respond to the behavioral health needs of our students. A statewide, regionalized technical assistance center will provide consultation, coaching, and training to assist school districts in implementing behavioral health systems and meeting student behavioral health needs. The initial focus of the TA Center will be on providing clinical consultation and coaching to give school personnel one on one tools and support to be responsive to a student with behavioral health needs and keep them in the classroom. Priority access will be given to under resourced and highly stressed districts.

These resources will support the BIRCh Project and the Massachusetts Association for Mental Health to continue the work of community stakeholder engagement and qualitative and quantitative data collection to support the development of a school-based behavioral health technical assistance center.

 

The Campaign has advocated for these priorities for several years. We appreciate the legislature’s ongoing, consistent funding of these important programs.

 

Priority

FY21 GAA

FY22 Gov

FY22 House

FY22 Senate

FY22 Conference

Early Childhood Interagency Collaboration
(5042-5000)

$125,000

No earmark

No earmark

No earmark

No earmark

Mass Child Psychiatry
Access Project
(5042-0250)

$3,875,000
earmark

No earmark

$3,825,000
earmark

$3,875,000
earmark

$3,875,000
earmark

School-based substance use verbal screening (4590-0250)

$700,000

No earmark

No earmark

No earmark

No earmark

Early Ed and Care Mental Health Consultation
(3000-6075)

$2.5M

$2.5M

$2.5M

$2.5M

$3M

 

Learn more about the Massachusetts budget process.

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