How to be a part of the solution to mental health awareness
Posted On July 3, 2021
Tufts Health plan President David Kappes says the health alliance is not only creating a mental health center but is also working on a statewide mental health plan.
“We’re not just trying to fill a mental care gap, we’re trying to make sure people can get the care they need,” Kappis said in a phone interview.
“The more we can provide mental health care in the community, the more we will be able to make up for any gaps.”
Tufts Health is part of a $7 billion initiative by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the Massachusetts Association of Health Plans to create a statewide health alliance.
The alliance will work with community organizations and employers to coordinate the implementation of the alliance’s health services, including mental health and addiction treatment.
The plan has a staff of 40, with 30 positions filled from the Boston area.
In addition, there are also a number of community members who will be helping with outreach and education.
“One of the things that we really want to do is provide the mental health professionals and community leaders that we’re working with in our alliance the opportunity to really tap into their knowledge and their expertise to provide that support,” Kapps said.
The mental health alliance has been in place for more than a decade, and its staff has grown to more than 30 people, with nearly a third of the staff being community members.
According to Kappies, a mental illness is defined as having a history of serious mental illness, and the alliance is trying to increase awareness among the public of the problem.
“It’s not a stigma.
It’s just something that is there,” he said.
“People should talk to their health care providers and see what their options are.”
Kappis says the alliance has provided about $3 million in funding to support the efforts of the Boston Health Alliance and the Boston Collaborative for Mental Health, two mental health organizations.
“They’ve done some really good things.
They’ve provided a lot of services and they’ve been really helpful in getting the word out to people,” Kespers said.