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(The following information is from The Parents' How-to Guide to Children's Mental Health Services in MA; Boston Bar Association with support from Boston Children's Hospital.)
TalkListen.org (run by the Boston Public Health Commission)
American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
National Mental Health Information Center
Families for Depression Awareness
The Boston Children's Hospital "Depression Experience Journal"
National Center for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
CHADD - Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
Eating Disorder Referral and Information Center
Finding a provider
If you have insurance, you should start by calling the member services number that is usually printed on your insurance card. Please note that there may be a separate number to call for mental health services.
Massachusetts Behavioral Health Partnership: 800-495-0086
Can help many MassHealth members locate a provider and has useful contact information for emergency situations.
Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children: 617-587-1500
MSPCC runs a number of parent support and counseling programs across the state.
Massachusetts Association of Social Workers: 617-720-2828
MASW has a therapy referral service that you can access at the number above. You will be contacted by a social worker who can help you locate a provider with the specialty, location, and service you need.
Massachusetts Psychological Association: 781-263-0080
MPA provides access to psychologists in Massachusetts through their members. Contact the office at the number above and tell them:
They will email your request to their membership list.
Getting access to health care
Massachusetts has many organizations and state offices dedicated to helping parents find health care coverage. Several key starting points are listed below:
Health Care for All: 617-350-7279
This is the leading consumer advocacy organization in Massachusetts. It runs a helpline that can answer many of your questions about how to pay for health insurance.
Boston Public Health Commission: 617-534-5050
For people living in the city of Boston, the Public Health Commission maintains a wide range of resources to help you find care. The Mayor's Healthline provides information and referral services.
Massachusetts Division of Health Care Finance and Policy: 617-988-3125
This Division publishes a comprehensive guide to health programs available in Massachusetts.
Employee Benefits Security Administration in the U.S. Department of Labor, Boston Regional Office: 617-565-9600
Information about self-funded ERISA plans as well as mental health parity law.
Massachusetts Division of Insurance
There are many resources that provide information about the MassHealth program. In addition to those listed above, under "Getting Access to Health Care," you may want to look at:
This is the main website for the state office that runs MassHealth and it includes application information, forms you can download and contact information.
Community Partners, Inc.
This is a website with good information about the different MassHealth programs, including links to local organizations that can help with applications.
Office of Medicaid Board of Hearings: 800-655-0338
To appeal a decision through the Fair Hearings Board process, fax your request for a hearing to 617-210-5820.
If you need legal advocacy or information, the following organizations may be able to help:
Health Law Advocates, Inc.: 617-338-5241
Helps with health care problems including mental health issues.
Massachusetts Advocates for Children: 617-357-8431
Has special expertise in school issues.
Mental Health Legal Advisors Committee: 617-338-2345
State-funded program that helps with mental health issues and has a number of publications on the legal rights of people with mental health problems.
Massachusetts Legal Help
This website is run by legal services offices in Massachusetts, and it has a great deal of information on health care and other issues. The website has a complete listing of legal services agencies in the state and you can use this list to find an advocate in your area.
School services and information
Because special education is run by each city or town's school system, the best starting place is often your own school's special education coordinator. If you are having difficulties, or want more general information about special education in Massachusetts, the MA Department of Education is a good starting point.
Massachusetts Department of Education, Special Education: 781-338-3000
The parent information section of this website includes a number of useful guides as well as links to services in your community.
Section 504: Free Appropriate Public Education: 1-800-421-3481
Special Needs Advocacy Network: 508-655-7999
Provides information and resources on special needs to parents and professionals.
Special education advocacy information and services
Other state departments and agencies
Department of Public Health: 617-624-6000
DPH Community Support Line: 1-800-882-1435
Office of Patient Protection: 1-800-436-7757
For filing complaints about your managed care company.
Bureau of Substance Abuse Services: 617-624-5111
For help locating substance abuse services.
Department of Mental Health: 617-626-8000
Applications can be downloaded.
Massachusetts Department of Children and Families
Juvenile justice system
Citizens for Juvenile Justice: 617-338-1050
Publishes a useful guide called From a Parent's Perspective: A Handbook for Parents of Children Committed to the Massachusetts Department of Youth Services.
Parent/Professional Advocacy League: 617-542-7860
They have developed a "pocket guide" that helps parents talk to police officers about their child's mental health issues called the Police Pocket Guide: Responding to Youth with Mental Health Needs.
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