The Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston is deeply committed to ensuring people can live self-determined lives with safety, meaning and connection, free from barriers and stigma. In partnership with council members and community allies, we are committed to identifying and advancing policy interventions that address urgent needs exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting stresses, isolation, financial insecurity, and increasing experience of discrimination and antisemitism.
Access to mental health care is at the intersection of these concerns, and we have seen dramatically increased need across the Jewish community and residents of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Interactions in our day-to-day lives and in data collected before and during the pandemic compel us to address this crisis as a collective, rooted in our commitment to advancing social, economic, and racial justice.
Principles as Adopted by JCRC Council on April 26, 2022:
JCRC supports legislation and public policies that ensure access to residents within and beyond the Jewish community that:
- Provide adequate funding for expanding mental health care access, without diverting resources from primary care, and invest money in innovative and non-traditional approaches to mental health care
- Codify the coverage of annual mental health wellness exams similarly to annual physicals
- Expand access to and incentivize the delivery of outpatient mental health care
- Enforce and implement mental health care parity to achieve more equitable coverage
- End the emergency department boarding crisis through better coordination, expanded services, and statewide monitoring
- Address existing mental health disparities among people of color, LGBTQIA+ communities, and historically marginalized and underserved communities
- Create equitable reimbursement to providers and eliminate requirements that overburden providers and delay consumer access to care
- Enhance and expand the available mental health workforce through interim licensure and efforts focused on pipeline development, recruitment and retention
- Build a workforce that is diverse and representative of communities that have been traditionally underserved through innovative programs that increase access to professional opportunities