What is Behavioral Health?
Behavioral health generally refers to mental health and substance use disorders, life stressors and crises, and stress-related physical symptoms. Behavioral health care refers to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of those conditions.
The Department of Mental Health, as the State Mental Health Authority, assures and provides access to services and supports to meet the mental health needs of individuals of all ages; enabling them to live, work and participate in their communities. Explore the website
Community Behavioral Health Centers (CBHCs) are one-stop shops for a wide range of mental health and substance use treatment programs. The Commonwealth's statewide CBHC network includes 29 centers located in communities across Massachusetts.
Mobile Crisis Intervention (MCI) services are for anyone in Massachusetts experiencing a mental health or substance use crisis. MCI services are provided by trained professionals who can travel to your location or work with you at a CBHC to assess your needs, provide immediate assistance, and determine the best path forward. Instead of going to the ER, MCI services allow anyone going through a crisis to either walk into a CBHC or call for a team to come to their location and access immediate mental health care. Anyone can use MCI at any time, no insurance needed.
Community Crisis Stabilization (CCS) is a less restrictive alternative to inpatient hospitalization for people in need of short-term, overnight crisis care. The programs have home-like, friendly, and comfortable environments that offer a feeling of community while maintaining a safe and secure setting. CBHCs offer both Adult (18+) and Youth (18 and under) CCS programs, available to anyone in MA, regardless of insurance coverage. CCS services may include individual, group, and family therapy; medication management; crisis intervention; and future crisis prevention planning.
Routine Outpatient Services are comprehensive outpatient mental health and substance use services for MassHealth members, also covered by some commercial insurers. These services are available every day of the week, both in-person at CBHCs and via telehealth, with extended hours. Services include same-day mental health and substance use evaluation, assessment, and individualized treatment; individual/family/group therapy; psychiatric medication consultations; peer support services; medication for addiction treatment; care coordination; referrals to treatment; and timely follow-up appointments.
Formerly called the "National Suicide Prevention Lifeline", the 1-800 number was recently shortened to an easier to remember three digit 9-8-8 number. Learn more about what to expect if you call, and for more information on the lifeline organization, visit 988lifeline.org
The Massachusetts Behavioral Health Access (MABHA) website helps both providers and individuals locate openings in mental health and substance use disorder services. Search for services that can be accessed directly from the community.