Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Citizens' Guide to State Services

Published by
William Francis Galvin
Secretary of the Commonwealth
Citizen Information Service

Health: Mental Health

H47 Department of Mental Health

H48 Division of Forensic Mental Health

H49 Department of Developmental Services

H47 Department of Mental Health (DMH)
Executive Office of Health and Human Services
25 Staniford Street
Boston, MA 02114
Tel: 617-626-8000
Toll Free: 1-800-221-0053 (within Mass. only)
TTY: 617-727-9842
Fax: 617-626-8131

This department provides services to an average of 22,000 citizens, both adults and adolescents, with long-term or serious mental illness for early and on-going treatment and does research into its causes. In this ongoing process, the DMH has expanded community-based programs while meeting continuing care needs of individuals in public psychiatric facilities. The department supervises all facilities for the mentally ill, including state hospitals, comprehensive centers and clinics, and half-way houses; county and municipal programs; and private facilities and services. Services include: emergency services on a 24-hour basis, in-patient residential and out-patient care, partial hospitalization for day and night care, consultation and educational assistance to community agencies and professional personnel, and employment opportunities for patients. There are several regional offices; call or visit their website for the location nearest you. Acute or short-term inpatient and diversionary services are largely furnished through an interagency agreement with the Division of Medical Assistance/Medicaid (DMA). Through the interagency agreement, the DMH purchases acute care and diversionary services from the DMA. Medicaid, in turn, contracts with the Massachusetts Behavioral Health Partnership, its managed care organization, to supply these services. Under the agreement, the DMA is responsible to the DMH while the Partnership is responsible to the DMA. The Department of Mental Health retains responsibility for all adult and child/adolescent continuing or long-term care, including inpatient and an array of community-based services that promote independence, rehabilitation and recovery and prevent unnecessary hospitalization. In concert with the Department of Public Health and the Division of Medical Assistance, DMH has developed a single model of care to improve the treatment of individuals with serious mental illness and co-occurring substance abuse disorders. Implementation is scheduled to begin this year with completion expected within five years.  

H48 Division of Forensic Mental Health
Department of Mental Health
25 Staniford Street
Boston, MA 02114
Tel: 617-626-8094
Fax: 617-626-8099

This division oversees court clinics. These mental health clinics in courts provide psychiatric services to the courts. Referrals are made by judges, chief probation officers, and probation offices. The division also provides clinical services to prisoners and their families as an extension of community mental health programs within the prison system.

H49 Department of Developmental Services (DDS)
Executive Office of Health and Human Services
500 Harrison Avenue
Boston, MA 02118
Tel: 617-727-5608
TTY: 617-624-7783
Fax: 617-624-7577

Formerly the Department of Mental Retardation DDS's purpose is to provide a wide array of services to more than 27,000 individuals with mental retardation and their families, and to assist individuals to live as independently as possible. DMR provides these services through state-operated programs and by contracting with more than 310 private provider agencies across the state. There are several regional offices; call or visit their website for the nearest location. The department provides funding for day, residential, and emergency services in addition to respite care and family support services throughout the state. Their level of disability may require assistance in job placement, transportation, residential services, or intense levels of treatment, monitoring and care. The department operates public facilities where people with mental retardation reside and licenses private agencies which offer day, residential, and support services. It also is responsible for overseeing the care for people with mental retardation who live in facilities which are certified by the Department of Public Health or licensed by the Department of Early Education and Care. This office also serves as the point of contact for the Office of Disabilities and Community Services and has a Division of Autism Spectrum Disorders.

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