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HCFA Report on Access to Mental Health Services in MA

by Nick Randell, Program Officer


Health Care For All (HCFA) recently released "The Urgency of Early Engagement:  Five Persistent Barriers to Mental Health Treatment, Care and Recovery in Massachusetts and the Search for Solutions." This report, funded by the Tower Foundation, discusses challenges that lie in the way of people looking for mental health treatment.  Research revealed five key barriers: knowledge, attitude/stigma, insurance, price, and service delivery.


The year-long study's sources included:

  • In-depth stakeholder interviews with providers, advocates, public officials, and nonprofit leaders.
  • Four focus groups of individuals with lived experience seeking services and two focus groups of providers.
  • A state-wide online survey of individuals and family members who have sought mental health treatment in the last three years.
  • Analysis of 2,000 call logs received by NAMI Compass, the resource helpline of NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) Massachusetts.
  • Analysis of 300 call and email logs recorded by the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office related to mental health care.

The report explores possible solutions to the challenges presented, identifies promising programs, and outlines possible next steps in a concerted effort to reduce stigma and improve access to mental health services.


Read the entire report here:


Health Care For All (HCFA) is a Massachusetts nonprofit advocacy organization working to create a health care system that provides comprehensive, affordable, accessible, and culturally competent care to everyone, especially the most vulnerable among us. We achieve this as leaders in public policy, advocacy, education and service to consumers in Massachusetts.


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