Massachusetts Department of Mental Health (DMH)

The Department of Mental Health, as the State Mental Health Authority, assures and provides access to services and supports to meet the mental health needs of individuals of all ages, enabling them to live, work and participate in their communities. 

Who is Eligible?

In order to be eligible for DMH services, the individual must meet the following criteria:

  • Must have one substantiated qualifying diagnosis
  • Daily functioning must be directly impacted by the substantiated qualifying diagnosis
  • Must have a demonstrated need for a DMH service
  • The needed service is unavailable through other means
  • DMH must have the available capacity in the needed service
Qualifying Diagnoses Include:

  • Schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders
  • Mood Disorders
  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Dissociative Disorders
  • Eating Disorders
  • Borderline Personality Disorder

Support Services

Community Based Flexible Supports (CBFS) is the cornerstone of the Department's community mental health system. CBFS services provides rehabilitative interventions and supports in partnership with clients and their families to promote and facilitate recovery.  Services include interventions and supports that manage psychiatric symptoms in the community, restore or maintain independent living in the community, restore or maintain daily living skills, promote wellness and the management of medical conditions and assist clients to restore or maintain and use their strengths and skills to undertake employment. 

How to Apply

Please keep in mind that the chance for the Clinical Service Authorization process to be expedited will depend on the upfront availability of clinical records and the ability of the Clinical Service Authorization Specialist (CSAS) to locate and communicate with the applicant after the application has been submitted, particularly prior to hospital or other placement discharge.  The role of the referral source is key to ensure timely assistance of both.

The Ideal Request for Services Packet:

  • Sufficiently authorized service request (including Legal Guardianship Petition/Verification when appropriate)
  • Clearly documented current, intended, or last known address if homeless
  • Current attending psychiatrist's/outpatient provider's/clinical team diagnoses and clinical formulation
  • Current admission paperwork/psychosocial summary
  • Any/all psychological, competency, and neuropsychological evaluations
  • Medical summary including most recent physical
  • Substance abuse summary
  • Psychiatric hospital discharge summaries
  • Completed Authorization for Release of Information forms (ideally including all mental health service providers within the past two years)

The Process

  • "Request for Services" packet is submitted

  • Once a "Request for Services" packet is processed the Clinical Service Authorization Unit will notify the applicant
  • The CSAS may attempt to schedule a Face-to-Face interview
  • Supporting clinical records are gathered using releases
  • CSAS reviews to determine authorization
  • Decisions are made once sufficient information is received or within 90 days.

Contact Information

DMH Clinical Service Authorization Unit:

Central MA Area Office

361 Plantation Street

Worcester, MA

Phone: 774-420-3140

Fax: 774-420-3166


DMH Information and Referral Line:

1-800-221-0053 (Mon-Fri, 9AM-5PM)