As of June 1st, there is important news for health care consumers in Massachusetts.
The Massachusetts Behavioral Health Partnership (MBHP) has set up a new statewide toll free number to call when a family member or consumer has a psychiatric emergency and is uninsured or covered by MassHealth. A recent report by the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Massachusetts (NAMI Mass) recommended that the state create this statewide toll free number to help connect individuals in psychiatric crisis with Emergency Services Programs (ESPs) in their area. What are ESPs? Each ESP is a community-based, recovery-oriented program that provides 24/7 behavioral health services for individuals with psychiatric illness who are in crisis. ESPs are meant to be a better alternative to calling 911 or going to a hospital emergency room for individuals in a psychiatric crisis.
There are 21 ESP areas in the state that cover every city and town in Massachusetts and offer assessment, intervention, and stabilization services in a psychiatric emergency. The redesigned Emergency Services Program (ESP) went into effect on June 30, 2009 and has changed the way ESP services are provided. The new services include 24/7 mobile crisis intervention for children ages 21 and under, as well as improved adult mobile crisis intervention and adult community crisis stabilization.
Please spread the word about this important toll free number and ESP services!