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FRAMINGHAM –  Advocates, a nonprofit human services provider, announced it has been designated by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services to operate a Community Behavioral Health Center (CBHC), part of a new state initiative designed to provide accessible and equitable mental health care, including to people in crisis who otherwise would seek care in a hospital emergency department.

Advocates’ new CBHC will become operational in January 2023 and serve 31 communities in Eastern and Central Mass. 

It will operate among a statewide network of 25 centers that will help meet the growing demand for behavioral health care caused, in part, by the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The new community-based model seeks to shorten wait times to see providers in a close-to-home setting. 

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“Advocates is excited to be part of this new model and standard of care that will make it easier for anyone – from those with a routine behavioral health concern to those experiencing a crisis – to gain access to high-quality, community-based care,” said Diane Gould, President and CEO of Advocates.  “We are grateful for the work of the Executive Office of Health and Human Services to bring new solutions to the table at a time when so many community members are struggling with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and for the collaborative way in which they have approached this challenge.”

The Advocates CBHC will have service sites in Framingham and Waltham and provide same-day evaluation and access to treatment, and will maintain evening and weekend hours to maximize accessibility. 

The Framingham clinic will be at 1094 Worcester Road.

Advocates will partner with two other human services agencies, Spectrum Health Systems and Wayside Youth & Family Support Network, in operating the CBHC.  Other services will include behavioral health urgent care, clinical and peer support services, crisis intervention, and crisis stabilization beds that will act as an effective, appropriate alternative to hospital emergency departments. 

Advocates has long been a leader in providing compassionate, trauma-informed behavioral health care to children, adults and families across Massachusetts, and the new designation will enable the agency to once again be an innovator at a time of great demand for behavioral health services. 

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The new Advocates CBHC will serve individuals and families in the following communities: Acton, Ashland, Arlington, Bedford, Belmont, Boxborough, Burlington, Carlisle, Concord, Framingham, Holliston, Hopkinton, Hudson, Lexington, Lincoln, Littleton, Maynard, Marlborough, Natick, Northborough, Sherborn, Southborough, Stow, Sudbury, Waltham, Watertown, Wayland, Westborough, Wilmington, Winchester, and Woburn.

Advocates provides a broad range of services for people facing life challenges such as addiction, aging, autism, brain injury, intellectual/developmental disabilities, and mental health challenges.  With Advocates’ help, more than 30,000 individuals and families living in Massachusetts are finding the supports they need to lead healthy, productive, and rewarding lives. 

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By editor

Susan Petroni is the former editor for SOURCE. She is the founder of the former news site, which as of May 1, 2023, is now a self-publishing community bulletin board. The website no longer has a journalist but a webmaster.