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  • Jan 04, 2023

CHA Opens New Community Behavioral Health Center

Innovative statewide initiative will expand access to behavioral health care

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA), a community health system serving Cambridge, Somerville, and Boston's metro-north communities, has opened a new Community Behavioral Health Center at CHA Cambridge Hospital (1493 Cambridge Street, Cambridge). CHA is now one of 25 designated Community Behavioral Health Centers that will be operating in Massachusetts.

The Community Behavioral Health Center (CBHC) is a new model of behavioral health care designed to expand access to routine, urgent, and crisis treatment for mental health conditions and substance use disorders. At CHA, key CBHC services include a 24-hour Access and Crisis Line (833-222-2030) and a Behavioral Health Urgent Care, open daily. CHA will also provide 24/7 mobile crisis services in individuals’ homes, schools, or other community locations.

With the new services in place, people will be able to get connected to behavioral health treatment more quickly -- with same-day evaluations, referrals, and evidence-based treatments. Patients will also have access to additional support as needed, including specialty care, case management, recovery coaches, and new peer support group programs.

"CHA is proud to be part of this exciting initiative to help people of all ages," said Carl Fulwiler, MD, PhD, interim chair and chief of psychiatry at CHA. "We expect these services will make a real difference in the lives of local individuals and families."

The Cambridge Health Alliance CBHC serves the communities of Cambridge, Everett, Malden, Medford, and Somerville. There are other designated CBHC sites for people in adjacent communities. CHA plans to open a second CBHC site in Malden later this year.

"The Community Behavioral Health Center will be essential in improving the health of our communities," said CHA CEO Assaad Sayah, MD. "The past few years have been difficult for everyone, leading to extraordinary demand for behavioral health care. By expanding access to evaluation and treatment, we will be able to decompress hospital emergency departments and provide more timely and more effective care. Most importantly, it gives us the ability to help people who might otherwise slip through the cracks of the health care system, allowing greater health equity."

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