Town Administrator Tom Mayo would like to invite community members to attend the Town of Hingham's inaugural session of its Mental Health Coalition Speaker Series.
WHEN: Wednesday, April 12, at 7 p.m.
WHERE: Hingham Town Hall, Sanborn Auditorium, 210 Central St.
WHAT: The Town of Hingham will host the first session of its quarterly Mental Health Coalition Speaker Series to promote the mental well-being of community members and their families. The inaugural session of the speaker series will have three speakers who focus on multiple aspects of mental health and promote equity within the mental health sector in Massachusetts.
The speakers and topics are as follows:
Rebecca Ames, LICSW; Senior Clinical Manager, Riverside Trauma Center and MindWise Innovations:
Building Community Resilience Amid Mental Health Struggles
In the aftermath of sudden loss and suicide, it's easy to feel afraid. Those affected may wonder how to best support loved ones and how to differentiate "the blues" from something larger. Rebecca Ames, Senior Clinical Manager at the Riverside Trauma Center and MindWise Innovations, will lead a conversation about risk factors for suicide, supporting those struggling with mental health and building strength and resiliency as a community.
Senator Patrick O'Connor:
The Mental Health ABC Act 2.0 and Mental Health in the Legislature
Sen. O'Connor will discuss the Mental Health ABC Act 2.0, signed into law in 2022, making significant reforms to provide patients with equitable access to mental health care and remove barriers to care by supporting the behavioral health workforce. The bill mandated coverage for an annual mental health wellness exam and required an equitable rate floor for evaluation and management services consistent with primary care. It also provided better tools to enforce mental health parity laws by creating a clear structure to receive and investigate parity complaints, increasing reporting and oversight requirements on insurance carriers' mental health care coverage processes and policies, and establishing reasonable penalties and alternative remedies for failure to comply with the law.
Susan Sarni, Hingham Mental Health Coalition, Coordinator:
Addressing Community Mental Health Concerns
Sarni will highlight the work of The Hingham Mental Health Coalition, which was formed in November 2022 to address mental, behavioral and substance use disorders affecting residents. The coalition consists of Keith Jermyn, Veterans Director; Heather Rodrequez, Hingham Public Schools (HPS) Director of Student Counseling; Mary Frugoli, Elder Center Community Outreach; Justin Cancel, Town Social Worker; Aileen Walsh, Hingham Police Department (HPD) Crisis Clinician and Susan Sarni, executive health officer.
"The Town of Hingham offers exceptional resources for those seeking assistance with their, or a loved ones', mental health," Town Administrator Mayo said. "This series is a step towards ensuring our residents know they are supported and breaking the stigma that surrounds mental health and asking for help."
The Town of Hingham will conduct a quarterly session of the speaker series in April, July, October and January. The next session of the series will focus on addiction and codependent behavior on Wednesday, July 19—more information to come.
To learn more about the coalition and to access resources, see the HPS Social & Emotional Wellness website and the Town of Hingham Health website for a list of past and future projects.