Massachusetts Health Policy Forum

Youth Mental Health Roadmap for Western Massachusetts

On Wednesday, November 1, 2023 the forum entitled, “Youth Mental Health Roadmap for Western Massachusetts," was held at the UMass Amherst Campus Center.

Despite some successful state action, equitable access to mental health and behavioral health services continues to be a crisis in the Commonwealth. Across western Massachusetts, 45 percent of youth (14-24) reported feeling so sad or hopeless almost every day for two weeks or more in a row that they stopped doing usual activities (2020 CCIS). Other youth surveys administered in schools across the region show high rates of depressive symptoms, anxiety and suicidality.

With a focus on youth, this forum provided a roadmap to help facilitate prevention, support social emotional learning, foster connection, and inform policy change for Western Massachusetts.  A presentation of the latest research from the region and action plan was followed by a stakeholder panel discussion. 

This Massachusetts Health Policy Forum is co-sponsored by the Public Health Institute of Western Massachusetts and the University of Massachusetts Amherst School of Public Health and Health Sciences. It was also made possible by generous funding from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts and Baystate Health. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation funded the development of the "Roadmap." 

Date: Wednesday, November 1, 2023
Time: 8:30 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.
Location: Campus Center Auditorium, 1 Campus Center Way, Amherst, MA 01003




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