Continued access to mental health services and supports remains a vital care component for people throughout Massachusetts, both during this COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. Accessing those services and supports is particularly important for youth and young adults with a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or intellectual disabilities (ID), and those who care about them.
To that end, Shriver Center Executive Director, Jean Frazier MD, has been named Co-Director of a program funded by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services to increase the knowledge and capacity of mobile crisis intervention (MCI) teams in working with youth and young adults with ASD/ID who are having a behavioral health crisis.
The program is an offshoot of the Massachusetts Child Psychiatry Access Program (MCPAP) and run by the Massachusetts Behavioral Health Partnership, a Beacon Health Options company. MCPAP for Autism Spectrum Disorders and Intellectual Disabilities (MCPAP for ASD-ID launched on July 1, 2020.
MCPAP for ASD-ID offers support to Mobile Crisis Intervention (MCI) clinicians working with youth and young adults with ASD or ID experiencing behavioral health crisis. It provides free, on-demand consultations, regardless of an individual’s insurance status. Initial consultations are with a licensed applied behavior analyst and follow-up consultation with physicians with ASD expertise, may take place when needed.
Amy Rosenstein, Associate Vice President of Operations for Massachusetts Behavioral Health Options, recently spoke in greater detail about the program during an e-mail interview.
“Many MCI clinicians have limited experience working with youth with ASD or ID. This program can help them stabilize these individuals, assess medical conditions that may be related to the crisis, identify interventions and sometimes make referrals to professionals for longer-term support when needed,” Rosenstein explained.
Dr. Frazier’s appointment as Co-Director of this effort continues her career-long interest in mental health issues for individuals with ASD/ID that includes positions on several state and national boards, continuous grant-funded research, and a genuine desire to improve the lives of individuals with ASD and DD.
“Dr. Frazier’s expertise in this area, her involvement with MCPAP, and her work with EOHHS to understand the needs related to this population make Dr. Frazier the perfect person to help lead this program. Her deep knowledge and wonderful leadership skills are a perfect fit,” Rosenstein said.