Category: Mental Health

Sexual Assault and Prevention Resources for People with Disabilities (PwD)

Sexual abuse can be seen as unwanted sexual activity. It can be touching or showing body parts.  Abuse can be done by using force, bribes, stalking and threats. 

 People with disabilities (PwD) face many challenges and have very different needs. Some disabilities may put people at more risk for crimes like sexual assault or abuse. PwD may not be taken seriously when they make a report of sexual assault or abuse. They may not know how to report abuse. They may be scared to report what happened to them. They may fear what will happen to them after telling someone else. 

People with intellectual or developmental disabilities (IDD) experience sexual assault at up to 7 times higher than people without disabilities. They are less likely to receive services that help stop violence. They get less support healing from pain and trauma. Research shows only 13% of PwD survivors with disabilities receive victim services.

People with intellectual or developmental disabilities (IDD) may not understand or lack information about healthy sexuality. They may not have had sex ed classes. They may not know the kinds of touching that are good or bad (appropriate or inappropriate). This can be very hard. A person’s disability may require other people to touch them to provide care. Someone who has IDD may not be able to agree to sexual activity. Many people with IDD are survivors of sexual abuse. 

INDEX has a new fact sheet on Sexual Assault and Prevention Resources for People with Disabilities.  We have info for people in Massachusetts and national resources. 

Some areas are:

  • Ways to report sexual abuse
  • Rape Crisis Centers info
  • Domestic violence programs
  • Hotlines

Massachusetts Disabled Persons Protection Commission (DPPC) Hotline: 800-426-9009

Renew your MassHealth Coverage

INDEX wants to remind people that MassHealth renewal time is here. Renewal is important for people with disabilities in Massachusetts who have MassHealth.

DDS supported individuals with MassHealth may need extra help with their renewals.

MassHealth is here to help renew your MassHealth coverage!

Learn about the MassHealth renewal process and what it means for you.

Did you or the head of your household recently receive a notice from MassHealth saying that you need to renew your coverage, or that you have been automatically renewed?

That’s because every year, MassHealth reviews members to make sure they still qualify for coverage through MassHealth, the Health Safety Net, or Children’s Medical Security Plan.

If you received a notice saying you must renew, please respond by the due date listed in your renewal notice or your benefits might decrease or end.

Please be sure to contact MassHealth with any updates to your

  • address, phone number, email, income, or
  • other members in your household within 10 days of the change.

You can renew:

  • Online
  • By phone
  • By mail
  • By fax
  • In person

How to renew your MassHealth coverage: https://www.mass.gov/how-to/renew-your-masshealth-coverage

Children’s Mental Health Week (CMHW)  May 1-7, 2022

This year’s theme is Action Changes Things. One way to advocate for children’s mental health is by lighting up green in support of Children’s Mental Health Week this year.  Parent/Professional Advocacy League has a toolkit for people to use. Toolkit materials are free. Posters can be downloaded.  Some towns and cities will have CMHW public lightings.

Since 2002, the Governor of Massachusetts, has issued an official proclamation for Children’s Mental Health Week. Some Massachusetts  mayors issue proclamations, too. Children’s Mental Health Week is dedicated to increasing public awareness about the triumphs and challenges in children’s mental health.  It emphasizes the importance of family and youth involvement in children’s mental health.

In Massachusetts, Children’s Mental Health Week is sponsored by the Department of Mental Health and the Massachusetts Behavioral Health Partnership (MBHP), a Beacon Health Options company.

Here are some Children’s Mental Health resources that may be helpful. 

Children’s Mental Health Campaign (CMHC) has six highly reputable partner organizations: 

Children’s Behavioral Health Initiative (CBHI) – Helps MassHealth children with behavioral, emotional, and mental health needs.  Families can get integrated behavioral health services and a comprehensive, community-based system of care.

     Find a CBHI Provider 

Massachusetts Department of Mental Health (DMH) HandHold – DMH has a collection of resources that you can try at home today and organizations that we know can help.

Massachusetts Behavioral Health Partnership (MBHP) – MBHP is here to provide you or your loved one with a full range of services to help with medical, mental health, and substance use disorder conditions.

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Massachusetts Resources for Children and Teens – Includes family support programs. 

Children’s mental health is important every week of the year.