Supporting Behavioral and Mental Health
In FY23, the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) and the Human Services Cabinet are working with other departments across the City to meet the wide needs of the community through a year of recovery and renewal. With direct investments in behavioral and mental health supports and recovery services, the City is working to ensure an equitable and safe recovery for all.
Supporting Behavioral Health
The City is ushering in a new era of supports for behavioral health and wellness with the FY23 budget. As the City's public health department, BPHC provides emergency medical services (EMS), infectious disease surveillance, substance abuse prevention and treatment programs, community health programming, shelter and advocacy for homeless individuals, and home- and school-based health services for children and families. The BPHC Operating Budget is increasing by $7 million in FY23, with investments that cover a broad range of supports for Boston residents across areas of need.
In FY23, BPHC will begin the development of the new Center for Behavioral Health and Wellness, with over $12.6 million in combined Operating and American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding. A critical goal of the center is building a pipeline for behavioral health providers who engage directly with Bostonians using culturally responsive, evidence-based strategies. The center will engage the community and become a central source for resources related to behavioral health and wellness, driven by an overarching mission to reduce stigma, ensure community-driven response, and ensure uptake of these services.
Mental Health Supports for All Ages
Mental health is crucial for supporting our positive emotional and social well-being, and provides the foundation for substance abuse recovery, healthy families, and safe neighborhoods. In FY23, the City is investing to ensure that every Bostonian is supported in their mental health recovery, no matter their age.
The Age Strong Commission will invest $600,000 in increasing mental health support for our oldest residents, those who were often most isolated during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Boston Public Schools will invest $3.5 million in Operating funds and $3.7 million in federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funding to continue expanding social emotional supports.
An additional $250,000 investment in the Youth Development Fund will increase violence intervention grants supporting community-based services to meet gaps in population, geography, and program targets.
The City will greatly expand access to recovery services during this critical time, through investments in BPHC to increase staff capacity and expand on-the-ground support for those in need. Staff will provide citywide outreach and perform analysis on recovery services data to improve our ability to provide care, identify gaps, and report information from the front lines to stakeholders.
As part of Mayor Wu's appropriation order for ARPA investments, funds would support critical response services to ensure harm reduction, outreach response, and recovery services are sustained and expanded across the City.