Mental Health ABC Act 2.0: Addressing Barriers to Care

On August 10, 2022, Governor Baker signed An Act addressing barriers to care for mental health into law as Chapter 177 of the Acts of 2022.

Building on the original Mental Health ABC Act passed by the Senate in 2020, the Mental Health Addressing Barriers to Care (ABC) Act 2.0 (S.2584) is the culmination of years of work from Senator Cindy Friedman and her Senate colleagues. This comprehensive legislation continues the process of reforming the way mental health care is delivered in Massachusetts, with the goal of ensuring that every resident of the Commonwealth gets the mental health care they need when they need it.

The Mental Health ABC Act 2.0 is driven by the recognition that mental health is as important as physical health, and should be treated as such. The bill comes at a time when the Massachusetts State Senate is making landmark investments in mental and behavioral health, and proposes a wide variety of reforms to ensure equitable access to mental health care and removes barriers to care by supporting the behavioral health workforce.

The Massachusetts Senate passed the Mental Health ABC Act 2.0 on November 17, 2021. A similar bill having passed in the Massachusetts House of Representatives in June 2022, the bill a conference committee negotiated the differences between the two bills with the compromise legislation sent to the Governor’s desk on July 31, 2022.

Governor Baker Signs Legislature’s Expansive Mental Health Bill

Mental Health ABC Act 2.0 Bill Text

Senate Unveils Mental Health ABC Act 2.0 Press Release – 11/09/2021

Senate Passes Mental Health ABC Act 2.0 Press Release – 11/17/2021

Mental Health ABC Act 2.0 Fact Sheet