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Act Now to Improve Mental Health Care in Massachusetts: Support State Budget Amendment to Increase Inpatient Beds

Since 2005, there has been a 40% decrease in the number of public inpatient beds.  Over the course of the past year, nearly 40,000 patients experiencing behavioral health issues are boarded in our hospital emergency departments (EDs) from several hours to several days because they could not access appropriate mental health care.

While community –based mental health services play a vital role in behavioral health and treatment and recovery, some individuals require long-term inpatient care.

To address this problem, Representative James O’Day (D-Worcester)  has filed an amendment to the FY2015 House budget to increase the number of inpatient beds in the state’s mental health system.

Amendment #906 would:

– Add 112 inpatient beds to the state system (adding 60 at Taunton State and open the 52 remaining beds at the Worcester Recovery Center.
– Establish a crisis stabilization unit at Taunton State Hospital to help alleviate some of the pressure on the state’s EDs and provide patients with access to immediate treatment and stabilization
– Reestablish the highly successful forensic evaluation program at Taunton State Hospital.
– Create a Difficult to Manage unit at the Worcester Recovery Center.
– Establish a pilot program at Taunton State Hospital to serve the unmet, inpatient mental health needs of the Commonwealth.

Support Amendment #906

Please call your State Representative this week and ask them to call Rep. O’Day’s office (617-722-2810) and sign on and support Amendment #906 to the House budget.

The general # for the State House is 617-722-2000
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