Our Vision for Mental Health Care

Improving Mental Health Care in Massachusetts

The CHA Department of Psychiatry is a recognized leader in patient care and research and plays a key role in supporting the mental health of Massachusetts. We are continuously working to improve our mental health and addiction services, which have seen surging demand spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Studies show that many Massachusetts residents with mental illness do not receive the treatment they need, an issue that is even more pronounced in the communities CHA serves. At the same time, treatment options for mental health and substance use have evolved, and it is essential that we adapt our services to meet patient needs.

What we are doing

To achieve these goals, CHA has launched new initiatives to provide more access and improve our care: 

Partnering with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts on a major expansion of inpatient psychiatry services to help address the statewide shortage of beds and the record levels of emergency department boarding.

Expanding and diversifying our treatment options with national, evidence-based best practices which are backed by scientific research and proven to help patients. These changes align with the Commonwealth’s Roadmap for Behavioral Health Reform. Our goal is to serve more people in need, particularly the most marginalized.

Revising our academic programs to teach trainees about contemporary treatment methods and help them succeed - whether they choose careers in hospital care, outpatient care, public health, research or education. 

Timeframe of this work

Transforming our mental health services is a multi-year effort, and the COVID pandemic has brought new challenges. For example, staffing shortages (which have affected hospitals across the U.S.) have temporarily reduced access in some areas. The good news is that CHA has been highly successful in recruiting new providers. To date, we have filled 85 percent of open positions for therapists and continue to attract applicants from across the nation. This is allowing us to continue making progress in our efforts.

Thank you to our staff

The CHA Department of Psychiatry has a longstanding commitment to excellent, research-based care, and we are proud of our staff’s dedication to our patients. We appreciate their continued involvement and support as we work together to achieve greater access and health equity in our communities, which is the heart of CHA’s mission.

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