Pittsfield, MA, July 16th, 2019. Massachusetts residents may share their experiences on looking for behavior health treatment and input on patient barriers to accessing behavioral health treatments at Listening Sessions hosted by the Massachusetts’ Executive Office of Health & Human Services.
- Boston – June 5, 4-6 pm – 1 Ashburton Place on the 21st Floor
- Cape Cod – June 18, 4-6 pm – Cape Cod Community College
- Brockton – June 19, 4-6 pm – Brockton Public Library
- Worcester – June 25, 4-6 pm – UMass Medical School campus
- Pittsfield – July 16, 4-6 pm – Berkshire Medical Center
- Springfield – July 17, 4-6 pm – The UMass Center in Springfield
- Lowell- August 1, 4-6 pm – The University of Massachusetts Lowell Inn & Conference Center
- Gloucester – August 14, 4-6 pm – Kyrouz Auditorium at Gloucester’s City Hall
For more information visit www.mass.gov/creating-a-behavioral-health-ambulatory-treatment-system or contact BHengagement@state.ma.us.
IMPORTANT** Your input is invited on any or all of these key questions:
Patient and Family Experience
▪ If you were looking for a behavioral treatment health provider, where would you start?
▪ Where would you go for non-emergency treatment for a mental health, substance use or co-occurring disorder?
▪ Where would you go if your need was urgent?
▪ Is there more the health care system could do to address your (or your family member’s) behavioral health
▪ When receiving behavioral health treatment, what works well right now (e.g., types of treatment, specific
providers or health plans)?
Patient Barriers to Accessing Treatment
▪ Do you have barriers accessing behavioral health treatment through Primary Care?
▪ If yes, what are the barriers?
– Location/transportation? Insurance? Getting an appointment with a primary care doctor? Stigma?
Embarrassment? Lack of knowledge that primary care doctor can offer assistance? Language? Dismissed
as a substance use issue only?
▪ Are there barriers to accessing behavioral health treatment in a behavioral health setting?
– Long wait for appointments? Access? Location/transportation? Insurance? Lack of competence to treat
condition (e.g. can’t access medication, lack of adolescent treatment, not trauma informed, language,
cultural concerns, etc.)? Must be a Department of Mental Health client?
▪ Are there barriers to accessing behavioral health treatment in the emergency department
– Long waits? No referrals? No beds? Waiting on a gurney in hallways? Stigma? Competence regarding co-occurring issues? Not appropriate for higher level of care so discharged?
Your input is invited on any or all of these key questions: (for policy development purposes only)
▪ Are there barriers to accessing ambulatory behavioral health treatment?
▪ Do barriers to accessing ambulatory behavioral health treatment look different for people who have a co-occurring disorder? Does it look different for children, youth and families? Are there cultural and/or linguistic barriers?
▪ What specific changes would you like to see happen that would work better for you?
▪ Are there specific barriers and challenges that prevent or discourage primary care providers from integrating behavioral health treatment in their practices
– Regulatory? Payment? Workforce? Culture? Administrative? Training? Co-occurring issues? Where to
▪ Can you point out any existing examples that are successful in integrating primary care and behavioral
health that could be replicated?
Behavioral Health Outpatient Specialty
▪ What are the biggest challenges that you face in trying to access outpatient behavioral health care?
▪ What are the biggest barriers or challenges that providers face in meeting their patients’ needs (e.g., capacity, payment/insurance, regulatory, lack of education, training, knowledge of BH, co-occurring issues, or where to refer patients, ability to provide both mental health and addiction, lack of staff that are bi-lingual, cultural competence etc.)?
▪ Where are the biggest bottlenecks in outpatient behavioral health today?
▪ What types of outpatient behavioral health treatment settings have the longest wait times for treatment access? How are treatment needs met during wait periods?
▪ Can you point out any promising, successful or innovative interventions that are being tried to expand access and improve outpatient behavioral health care?
▪ What would you do if you were experiencing a behavioral health crisis?
▪ What is the most significant challenge individuals and families encounter when they are in a behavioral
▪ What interventions might be available to people in crisis that are not available today?