Massachusetts Medical Society: Mental Health and Substance Use

Mental Health and Substance Use


The Massachusetts Behavioral Health Help Line connects individuals and families to outpatient, urgent, and immediate crisis care services for mental health and substance use in the Commonwealth.

Help is available 24/7/365 by phone call and text at (833) 773-2445 and online chat at

Mental health stigma remains pervasive, as highlighted by the continued separation of behavioral health care from all other aspects of health care in the United States.

In Massachusetts, more than 20% of adults report having mental illness, with serious thoughts of suicide experienced by almost 5% of adults. Young people from historically marginalized groups, including Black American children, Hispanic adolescents, and LGBTQ+ youth appear to be at particularly heightened risk for both suicide and suicide attempts. More than 33% of high school students and 24% of middle school students have symptoms of depression. Nearly 13% of those 3 to 17 years old in the state have anxiety.

The primary cause of overdose deaths is illicit fentanyl; cheap, easily available everywhere in the United States. Non-Hispanic Black Americans have about the same rate of opioid-related overdose death rates as the overall population, but the opioid overdose epidemic has largely focused on White suburban and rural communities with treatment rates for opioid use disorders are especially low in Black American communities. This population faces challenges in accessing treatment and recovery services, fear of legal consequences, and lack of culturally responsive care. Youth in particular misuse alcohol and tobacco products at a higher rate than opioids.

These links provide treatment resources for physicians, for patients and the general public, and for school nurses and administrators, parents and caregivers, and students.

Mental Health and Substance Use Resources for PhysiciansTreatment Resources for Physicians

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Mental Health and Substance Use Resources for PatientsTreatment Resources for Patients and the General Public

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Mental Health and Substance Use Resources for School Nurses and Administrators, Parents and Caregivers, and StudentsResources for School Nurses and Administrators, Parents and Caregivers, and Students

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