When a person or family is coping with mental health problems, particularly during an acute crisis, one of the biggest challenges can be finding appropriate support services for the affected person as well as the family. Mental health agencies and organizations can help families in need of respite care (care for the ill person at home that allows family caregivers some “time off”), case management, recreational activities, vocational training and guidance, and other supports.
The following organizations and web sites may be useful for helping you or a loved one find support services in the United States and within Massachusetts.
Anxiety Disorders Association of America (ADAA)
Phone: (240) 485-1001
Web site: www.adaa.org
The ADAA provides information, resources and support to people with anxiety disorders (including generalized anxiety, panic disorder and agoraphobia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, social anxiety, and phobias) and their families.
Attention Deficit Disorder Association (ADDA)
Phone: (484) 945-2101
Web site: www.add.org
The ADDA provides information, resources and networking to adults with ADHD and to the professionals who work with them.
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Child & Adolescent Bipolar Foundation (CABF)
Phone: (847) 256-8525
Web site: www.bpkids.org
This parent-led, web-based support and advocacy organization provides information and peer guidance for families raising children and adolescents diagnosed with, or at risk for, early-onset bipolar disorder.
Children & Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD)
Phone: (301) 306-7070
CHADD is a volunteer-run organization that provides support and information for adults and children who have attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and their families. Chapters are found around the country.
Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA)
Phone: (800) 826-3632
The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance is a consumer-run support and advocacy organization for people with depression and bipolar disorder and their families. DBSA leads a nationwide network of local chapters that provide information and support.
Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health (FFCMH)
Phone: (703) 684-7710
Web site: www.ffcmh.org
The Federation leads a nationwide network of family-run organizations to support families who are raising children with mental health needs.
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National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)
Phone: (703) 524-7600
NAMI is a self-help, support, and advocacy organization for mental health consumers and their families and friends.
National Mental Health Association (NMHA)
Phone: (703) 684-7722
The National Mental Health Association is an education, advocacy, research and service organization that promotes mental health and wellness.
National Mental Health Information Center
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
Web site: www.mentalhealth.samhsa.gov
(Click on U.S. map under “Services Locator.”)
The Mental Health Services Locator on this web site allows you to search for mental heath services and resources by state.
National Respite Locator Service
Phone: (919) 490-5577
Web site: www.respitelocator.org
This organization helps parents, caregivers and professionals find respite care in their state and local areas. Respite care (in-house or outside services) provides temporary relief for families who are caring for an ill family member.
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Boston Bar Association’s “The Parents’ How-to Guide to Children’s Mental Health Services in Massachusetts”
Web site: www.bostonbar.org
The Boston Bar Association’s Children’s Mental Health Task Force, in collaboration with Children’s Hospital in Boston, published this practical guide for parents. It provides information about mental health services in the state, how to obtain and pay for these services, as well as advocacy tips. The complete guide is available on the BBA web site. Click on “For the Public” then “Children’s Mental Health Guide.”
Boston Public Health Commission
Child & Adolescent Mental Health Program
Phone: (617) 534-5671
Web site: www.talklisten.org
The Commission maintains listings of local mental health organizations and agencies that can provide information, assistance, and support for parents and their children. The site also provides online access to “Making Sense: A Parent’s How-to Guide to Children’s Mental Health Resources” and “Making Sense: A Parent’s Guide to a Child's Psychiatric Hospitalization.” A brochure entitled “Understanding How Teens Behave Emotionally, Ages 13-15” contains behavior guidelines and emergency contacts for situations where urgent help is needed.
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Massachusetts Clubhouse Coalition
Phone: (781) 788-8803
Web site: www.maclub.org
The Massachusetts Clubhouse Coalition provides a list of “Clubhouses” in Massachusetts. Clubhouses are social and vocational support centers for people with chronic mental illness.
Massachusetts Department of Health & Human Services (HHS)
Phone: (617) 573-1600
Web site: www.mass.gov/hhs
(Click on “Find Community Resources” under “Online Services.”)
The Massachusetts Resource Locator allows you to search for mental health services throughout Massachusetts. Click on “Guided Search” to search by service type and area served, or by location of the provider.
Massachusetts Department of Mental Health (DMH)
Phone: (617) 626-8000
Web site: www.mass.gov/dmh
(Click on “Consumers” at top of page.)
Click on “Mental Health” under “Behavioral Health” for information about mental health services and eligibility in the state of Massachusetts.
Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission
Phone: (800) 245-6543, (617) 204-3600
Web site: www.state.ma.us/mrc
Disability Determination Services
Phone: (800) 551-5532
Independent Living Centers
Phone: (800) 223-2559
The Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission is the state agency responsible for Vocational Rehabilitation Services, Community Services, and eligibility determination for the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) federal benefits programs for Massachusetts citizens with disabilities.
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Parent/Professional Advocacy League (PAL)
Phone: (617) 542-7860
Web site: www.ppal.net
PAL is the Massachusetts chapter of the Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health. PAL works with families and professionals, and provides support, education, referrals, and advocacy on behalf of children with mental, emotional, or behavioral special needs.
Consumer Libraries / Resource Centers
Partners HealthCare System, the parent organization of Massachusetts General Hospital, is an integrated healthcare network of hospitals and medical professionals. Partners HealthCare offers several consumer libraries/resource centers in the Boston, MA area where you can go to find information about mental health issues. The libraries and resource centers are staffed by knowledgeable individuals who can help you locate a wide range of mental health information and resources. The resource centers and libraries include:
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The Jonathan O. Cole Mental Health Consumer Resource Center
McLean Hospital, Belmont, Massachusetts
Phone: (617) 855-3298
The Family Resource Center/Behavioral Health Library
North Shore Children’s Hospital, Salem, Massachusetts
Phone: (978) 354-2660
The Kessler Health Education Library
Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts
Phone: ( 617) 732-8103
Web site: www.brighamandwomens.org/healtheducation
The Patient / Family Resource Center
Faulkner Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts
Phone: (617) 983-7371
Web site: www.faulknerhospital.org/general_resource.html
ARCH – Access
to Resources for Community Health
Massachusetts General Hospital, Revere, Massachusetts
Phone: (781) 485-6477
Web site: www2.massgeneral.org/library/arch/arch.asp