Simple Ring SmallThe state of Massachusetts operates a Children’s Behavioral Health Initiative at the state level, and this model offers some interesting ideas for other state and local initiatives. The Children’s Behavioral Health Initiative (CBHI) is “…an interagency initiative of the Commonwealth’s Executive Office of Health and Human Services whose mission is to strengthen, expand and integrate Massachusetts state services into a comprehensive, community-based system of care, to ensure that families and their children with significant behavioral, emotional and mental health needs obtain the services necessary for success in home, school and community..”

Although the Massachusetts model was created in response to a specific legal circumstances, the vision and scope of the project may resonate with many states and communities.  For example, through this initiative MassHealth requires primary care providers to offer standardized behavioral health screenings at well child visits, mental health clinicians to use a standardized behavioral health assessment tool, and provides new or enhanced home and community-based behavioral health services. CBHI also includes a larger interagency effort to develop an integrated system of state-funded behavioral health services for children, youth and their families.  The website also offers insights and tools for providers, schools, families, and more.

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