‘Network of Care’ Online Tool Launches to Improve Access to Behavioral Health Services Across Massachusetts
BOSTON (March 16, 2020) – The Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation – together with funding partners MetroWest Health Foundation and the C.F. Adams Charitable Trust – today announced the launch of Network of Care Massachusetts, a comprehensive online resource to help anyone find behavioral health resources and treatment in their community.
About 1 in 5 people in Massachusetts have a mental health or substance use condition, and although these conditions are prevalent, many people struggle to find the services and supports they need. The Network of Care Massachusetts website (massachusetts.networkofcare.org) helps consumers and caregivers navigate a complex system by providing information about varied behavioral health resources. It features an extensive library of health information and a directory of 5,000 mental health, substance use and related social service agencies and programs from Boston to the Berkshires.
“Massachusetts is home to hundreds of programs that deliver high-quality behavioral health and social services, and Network of Care Massachusetts will allow us to provide information about these services in one place that is publicly available to all who need it,” said Audrey Shelto, president of the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation.
The Foundation received a special three-year investment from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts to support this initiative, and together the three funding partners chose the Massachusetts Association for Mental Health to manage the build and customization of Network of Care Massachusetts. The project was developed through a comprehensive stakeholder process across the public and private sectors, in close coordination with the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services and state agencies.
Consumers and professionals can use the tool to search for resources based on a specific need or condition – such as depression, alcoholism, food or housing – or by the service they are looking for, such as emergency mental health services, alcohol detox, food pantries or rental assistance. Users can narrow their search by ZIP code to find the services closest to them.
“This is a terrific new resource for individuals and families seeking help with a range of behavioral health challenges,” said Bruce Bird, president and CEO of Vinfen, a nonprofit, community-based provider of comprehensive services for adolescents and adults with mental health conditions and disabilities. “It will also be extremely useful to our staff who often struggle to find the right resources for people who reach out to us for services which are not provided by Vinfen or are provided in a different part of the state.”
Network of Care is a national web platform operated by Trilogy Integrated Resources, LLC, a San Rafael, Calif.-based organization that has successfully implemented human service online networks in more than 500 sites in 26 states.
“This one-stop, accessible online tool ensures there is ‘no wrong door’ to a search for accurate information about the behavioral health service system and state agency benefits in Massachusetts,” said Danna Mauch, president and CEO of the Massachusetts Association for Mental Health. “Whether you are an individual, family member or care coordinator, our overall goal is to increase access points for anyone seeking care and taking the first step to navigate the care system.”
About the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation
The mission of the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation is to expand access to health care for low-income and vulnerable individuals and families in the Commonwealth. The Foundation was founded in 2001 with an initial endowment from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts. It operates separately from the company and is governed by its own Board of Directors.