In an effort to further the goal of reducing the stigma associated with seeking help for mental illness and substance abuse, Attorney General Martha Coakley has awarded close to $32,000 to Danvers Public Schools to increase access to behavioral health services in the community.
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) will provide a total of $8 million to support new projects from 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.”
The Danvers Public School system will use the grant funding for a licensed psychologist to provide on-site counseling to staff and students. Four trainings will be held by clinical mental health experts for Danvers staff and community members (first responders, youth, and clergy), focusing on mental health topics and coping skills. A partnership between Danvers Public Schools and the DanversCARES Prevention Coalition will allow successful implementation of both school and community strategies to address adolescent mental health needs.
“This grant will allow our school and community partners to better address the mental health and substance abuse needs of young people in our community through training and efforts to reduce the associated stigma,” said Peg Sallade, Project Director of the DanversCARES Coalition.
Recipients of the Behavioral Health Grants will build on or create programs to improve the delivery of services to underserved populations in Massachusetts, resulting in measurable improvements in public health, welfare, and safety 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. Other organizations that will receive grants to serve several communities throughout the Commonwealth include:
- Alliance for Inclusion and Prevention (Boston)
- Boston Area Rape Crisis Center (90 towns and communities in Greater Boston, Lowell, the Merrimack Valley and Central Massachusetts)
- Bay Cove Human Services (Boston)
- Berkshire Medical Center (Berkshire Health Systems)
- Boston Health Care for the Homeless
- Gosnold Inc. of Cape Cod (Falmouth, Mashpee, Centerville, Orleans, Provincetown, Hyannis)
- HomeBase Program (Statewide)
- Institute for Health and Recovery (Danvers, Chelmsford, Haverhill, Methuen)
- Judge Baker Children’s Center (Plymouth, Rockland, Wareham)
- Justice Resource Institute (Boston, Brookline, Acton)
- Lynn Community Health Center
- Lynn Police Department
- Massachusetts Mental Health Center DMH (Boston)
- National Alliance on Mental Illness Massachusetts (Statewide)
- Riverside Community Care (Norfolk County, Newton)
- ServiceNET, Inc. (Berkshire, Franklin, Hampshire Counties)
- Spectrum Health Systems (Worcester County)
- Stanley Street Treatment & Resources, Inc. (New Bedford, Fall River)
- The Sharewood Project (Greater Boston)
- Tufts Medical Center (Boston)
- Whittier Street Health Center (Roxbury, Dorchester, Hyde Park, Jamaica Plain, South End, Mattapan)
Additional details of each program can be found on the AG’s website here.