Resolved, there shall be a special commission to study the staffing levels and delivery of services for case managers at the Department of Mental Health tasked with serving adults with acute mental illness. The commission shall examine individual sites in terms of number of Department of Mental Health case managers working at each site and their respective average caseload as well as examining the number of adults with acute mental illness who were refused service and the reasons that service was denied. The commission shall examine options for ensuring services for all adults with acute mental illness, and the ability to manage a caseload effectively for each case manager employed by the Department of Mental Health. The commission will also examine the feasibility of reestablishing outpatient clinics as a means of achieving these goals and as a means of reducing the waitlists at community clinics and private practices. The commission shall also examine language accessibility issues and linguistic capacity in the realm of mental health work. One of the goals of the commission will be to study recruitment strategies and develop incentives for people to pursue careers in the mental health field and case work in particular.
The commission shall consist of the Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health, or his/her designee, who shall serve as chair of the special commission; 2 members of the Senate, 1 of whom shall be appointed by the President of the Senate and 1 by the Minority Leader; 2 members of the House, 1 of whom shall be appointed by the Speaker and 1 by the Minority Leader; 2 persons to be appointed by the Governor, 1 of whom should be a former commissioner of the Department of Mental Health or a former senior level staff member of the Department of Mental Health who has at least five years of service; a representative of licensed social workers; a representative of the National Association on Mental Illness; and a representative of an organization specializing in suicide prevention, a university faculty member specializing in clinical psychology. The commission shall convene its first meeting not later than July 1, 2021 and shall file a report along with any recommendations for legislative reform not later than January 31, 2022 with the Clerks of the Senate and House of Representatives, the chairs of the Senate and House committees on Ways and Means, and the chairs of the joint committee on Mental Health.
As a means of providing available assets for the study, no less than $100,000 of eligible funds received by the commonwealth as part of State and Local aid from Federal COVID-19 recovery funds received after January 1, 2021 shall be utilized to fund the work of the commission.
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