This is an extremely stressful time for all of us. 2020 has thrown so many traumatic events our way; a pandemic, natural disasters, racial unrest, and an historical presidential election. The stakes in this election feel enormously high, which is why our emotions are running high too.
Despite all that is going on, it is important that we acknowledge that others may be having a tough time dealing with what is happening around us. However, it is extremely important that we take care of ourselves first. Remember the instructions we get on an airplane before it takes off? You must put your oxygen mask on first, before you can help others.
The State has launched a new campaign to help families navigate their children’s mental health journey: https://handholdma.org/ The site helps you answer questions like: “Should I worry?” “What can I do?” and “Who can help?”
If you are experiencing a mental health crisis or a loved one is and you do not want to call 911 and are hoping to avoid the emergency room try calling your local Emergency Service Program (ESP) This is a state service at no cost to those with MassHealth (Medicaid), Medicare, or people without health insurance. Some people with commercial insurance can also get these services. Don’t face a crisis alone. Call the Statewide Emergency Services Program at 1-877-382-1609 available 24/7/365. The local Somerville/Cambridge ESP is the Boston Medical Center/Cambridge Somerville Emergency Services Program 24-hour access number is 1-800-981-4357. If you or a loved one are experiencing a behavioral health crisis, help is a phone call away. You will talk to a behavioral health professional who can help you. They will work with you to determine the best plan for your unique situation. A team member may come meet you where you are – at your home, a hospital, or another location in the community. Some teams also have walk-in locations you can visit here.
I have put together a list of resources that I hope will be helpful. Please share with your friends and family or anyone who needs help.
Mental Health Resources
From the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA)
- National Help Line (1-800-662-4357)
- Disaster Distress Helpline (1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746)
- Treatment locators is a free directory to help find local options for care
Massachusetts state resource phone lines and webpages:
Network of Care Massachusetts is a comprehensive statewide online resource to help patients find information on mental health supports and services in their community.
The Massachusetts Department of Mental Health Multilingual Resources page offers non-English information for coping with stress and other behavioral health conditions during the COVID-19 public health crisis.
MCPAP for Moms provides mental health resources for expectant mothers and families
The NAMI Massachusetts COMPASS provides a mental health resource phone hotline
and email address.
NAMI Massachusetts also published a region-based list of Emergency Service Providers (ESPs) to provide assistance with mental health crises
NAMI Massachusetts also hosts virtual support groups for individuals and families dealing with mental illness during the state of emergency – the Connection Recovery Support Group and Family Support Groups
Visit the Children’s Mental Health Campaign COVID-19 Resource Page for information specific to assisting children with behavioral health needs and additional resources.
HandholdMA.org (877-382-1609) If you are worried your child is experiencing a mental health crisis.
Cambridge Health Alliance offers a wide variety of mental health and psychiatry services for people of all ages, incomes, and cultural backgrounds.
Mount Auburn Hospital Behavioral Health offers a variety of services for adults.
De Novo assists clients who are experiencing anxiety, depression, social isolation, relationship difficulties, family troubles, work problems, trauma associated with violence, or have other concerns.
Riverside Community Care offers a variety of mental health and recovery services for children, youth, and adults.
samaritanshope.org/ 24/7 Crisis hotline. Calls or texts (877-870-4673)
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 24/7 800-273-8255
Addiction Treatment and Recovery Resources
MA Help Line (1-800-327-5050) is a toll free phone line statewide, public resource
for finding substance use treatment and recovery services.
The Grayken Center for Addiction at Boston Medical Center has COVID-19 specific resources for seeking addiction care
Network of Care Massachusetts also helps patients find information on substance use supports and services in their community.
Rize Massachusetts‘ resources page provides a variety of recommendations for recovery resources.
Health Resources in Action published an informative guide to recovery resources for reference during times of COVID-19 emergency.
Shatterproof, a national advocacy organization for recovery supports, offers a virtual recovery meeting guide.
Choice Recovery Coaching, based in Springfield is providing free recovery coaching services by phone during the COVID-19 crisis
Cambridge Health Alliance provides support to adults facing substance use and addiction. The call line is 617-591-6000.
SMART Recovery Offers self-managed recovery training and anonymous peers support
Resources for Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Services
If you are in immediate danger, call 911
Call the National Domestic Hotline at 1-800-787-3224 (TTY) or 1-800-799-7233 or you can chat online at https://www.thehotline.org/
The Boston Area Rape and Crisis Center provides telephone and online support during the COVID-19 state of emergency
Safelink (1-877-785-2020) is Massachusetts’ statewide 24/7 toll-free domestic violence hotline
and a resource for anyone affected by domestic or dating violence
The Jane Doe Inc. ‘Find Help’ page offers an extensive list of Massachusetts specific resources for anyone feeling unsafe during the COVID-19 emergency.
The Massachusetts Medical Society statewide network graphic provides information on sexual assault and domestic violence service providers across Massachusetts.
In Cambridge, Transition House offers 24/7 support at 617-661-7203.
Remember, we’re all in this together. Stay safe and remember to vote tomorrow if you haven’t already!
Rep. Marjorie Decker