Cambridge Health Alliance logo

Affiliated with

Click here to leave the CHA website and visit the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center website Click here to leave the CHA website and visit the MassGeneral Hospital for Children website
CHA Mental Health Home

Helping People with Serious Mental Illness

CHA is committed to strengthening the care of people with serious mental illness. These individuals are often poorly served by traditional care models where mental health and medical services are separated. As a result, they generally have dramatically worse health outcomes.

To better serve these patients, CHA has launched a pilot effort to better integrate medical care with mental health care in an outpatient mental health setting. This builds on the success of a weekly group program (Recovery U), providing care in one familiar location to improve the health and lives of individuals with mental illness.

Setting

The Mental Health Home is based in CHA’s Ambulatory Community Services (ACS) program in Somerville, MA. It aims to provide state-of-the-art mental health services for individuals with serious mental illness while improving coordination of medical care and fostering wellness.

Program highlights include:
  • Evidence-based clinical services, including a clozapine program, groups promoting social functioning and physical wellness, individual psychotherapy, and medication management
  • Emphasis on engaging individuals reluctant to participate in traditional services
  • Close coordination with service providers throughout the continuum of care
  • Monthly coordination with local Community-Based "Flexible Support" teams
  • Opportunities to participate in research interventions
  • Early psychosis program in planning phases

Initial Phase

The initial phase of the program, which started for ACS patients in 2012, includes:
  • Weekly groups targeting nutrition, smoking cessation, other aspects of health and wellness; young adults’ particular needs; and social isolation
  • Seasonal social gatherings with food, music, entertainment
  • Individual psychopharmacology and psychotherapy
  • Close coordination with community providers such as Vinfen
  • Opportunities for participation in innovative research

The initial phase was made possible by generous contributions from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (Cambridge/Middlesex) and the Cambridge Community Foundation.


We need your support!

Please consider making a gift to support this important effort at www.challiance.org/donatenow (select Mental Health Home/ACS as a giving option).

Your generosity will help us realize our vision of a fully integrated health home, where individuals have their mental health and medical care needs addressed in one place.

With your help, our future home may include more comprehensive care like: 
  • A primary care provider in the Mental Health Home
  • A peer provider as a key element of the clinical team
  • An inviting common space where people can drop-in as needed
  • Computer access for program participants
  • A dedicated young adult program



Patient Feedback

Excerpts from an anonymous survey:

“This group is awesome! All the groups are very good. P.S. Have more.”

“I would tell more people to come to this group. Always has something to come here for.”

“I truly feel this group has been such a blessing to my life!!! I so look forward to it every week and I’m so thankful for it. Everyone is so great welcoming and friendly. I truly love this group!!!”