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Looking for mental health services in Central Massachusetts? Go to:

Looking for more information? Check out these resources for more in-depth info and suggestions:

  • National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)  has an excellent website: be sure to visit the Child and Adolescent Action Center for the NAMI Family Guide: Adolescent Depression and Treatment Options, the NAMI resource guide, and other helpful information:

  • is a website that is developed and maintained by the American Psychiatric Association and the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry to provide information for parents of children who may need medication to help with their difficulties.

  • Center for Mental Health Services:

  • National Institute of Mental Health:

  • National Institute on Drug Abuse website has brief fact sheets on major drugs of abuse, as well as information about preventing and treating substance abuse:

  • Federal Drug Administration (FDA):

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

  • American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry:

  • American Academy of Pediatrics has a website with many excellent resources for parents on common questions and concerns including ADHD, parenting tips, child development, and more:

  • American Psychological Association:

  • The REACH Institute, The REsource for Advancing Children's Health:

  • Child and Adolescent Bipolar Foundation:

  • CHADD (Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder) is a website with several good resources for people who have ADHD.  Excellent resources regarding working with the school system:

  • Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance:

  • Depression and Related Affective Disorders Association:

  • Federation of Families for Children's Mental Health:

  • National Mental Health Association:

  • Suicide Prevention Action Networks:

  • Why don't you take my insurance?
    It was a very difficult decision to limit the insurance plans we will work with. We did so knowing, and regretting, that we would not be able to see some children that we would really want to.The reality is that most mental health practices can't cover their own costs. The reason for this is that many (but not all) insurance companies pay less for mental health services than it costs to provide the service! Some companies try to make it hard to collect fees by using complex forms that are refused if not correctly and exactly filled out, by delaying payment, by denying payment if the service was after the fact determined not to be "medically necessary", or other little tricks. Can you imagine what would happen if you called a plumber and said "my toilet is broken. Come over right away. I'll pay you 80% of the cost of your plumbing supplies and half your usual fee. I'll be sure to get the payment to you in the next few months, but only if you submit the correct form with the correct code on it. If, after you leave, I determine it was not a plumbing problem but just a leaking water problem, I won't pay you at all." You would probably be sitting there with a broken toilet for a long time. We made the decision that at PBH we would only work with companies that are willing to pay reasonable rates and pay them reliably.
  • Why should I pay PBH when I can use my insurance elsewhere?
    Of course, you may want to use your insurance elsewhere! But most of our patients have tried other places and find PBH to be a better fit. At PBH you will get enough time to have your questions answered; a comfortable, pleasant atmosphere; a knowledgeable, professional staff; and a comprehensive and flexible approach to treatment. You probably won't have to change your treatment provider as our staff turnover is very low and you may find services here that you can't find at another practice. At PBH you will find advocates and partners in treatment, not disconnected diagnoses and recommendations that can't be implemented.
  • Isn't it a lot of money to spend?
    Yes. It is a lot of money, and it may not be the right thing for you, especially if you have a good provider elsewhere. However, some people do spend a lot of money on their children, and for a child paralyzed by anxiety or sadness, treatment can make a world of difference. For comparison, here are some of the costs born by families we know at local facilities: Costs At Pediatric Behavioral Health: 10 Sessions of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) $1250 - $2000 Psychopharmacologist (per month) $135/$175 Costs Common for Parents: Braces $6500 Music Lessons (per year) $1500 Black Belt Package at a local Karate studio (flat fee) $6000 Karate studio membership (per month) $180 Day care, infant (per week) $375 Day care, school age (per week) $200 Horseback riding lessons (4 lessons) $240 Summer camp, sleep over, (2 weeks) $2500
  • How do other practices that do take insurance survive?
    Something has to compensate for the difference between the insurance payments and the costs. Many institutions, like hospitals and community mental health centers, are subsidized by their other sources of income, government contracts and grants, and charitable donations. Some practices pay their employees poorly or skimp on benefits, and so there is often a high turnover. Some require their practitioners to severely limit the amount of time they spend with families, making it hard to get the necessary information about the child and answer your questions.
  • My insurance company says my PBH provider takes my insurance, but PBH says that isn't so. Why?"
    Please note: if your insurance company tells you that a provider listed above is an "in-network" provider, be careful to check at which location. Some of our providers work at other facilities, where they may accept insurance other than what is listed above. That does not mean that they can bill the same insurance company for work at PBH: the facility holds the contract with the insurance company, not the provider. You are welcome to try to see the providers in their other locations, however, those situations are generally limited to a particular type of patient and a particular situation.
  • Is testing covered by insurance or not?
    Maybe. It's best to call your insurance company and ask. A simple evaluation for ADHD can be done as a part of a diagnostic evaluation and treatment planning consultation, which is often covered by insurance. More complex evaluations for learning disabilities or other subtle educational difficulties are often not covered, however, most often neurological or psychiatric evaluation issues typcially are. Call your insurance company for the most accurate answer to this complex question.
  • What is the difference between a Psychiatrist, a Psychologist, a Social Worker, and a therapist?"
    A Psychiatrist is a medical doctor just like a pediatrician or a surgeon. A Psychiatrist attends medical school, then undertakes 1 year of clinical training in Medicine or Pediatrics (internship) then 2 to 3 years of clinical apprenticeship training in Adult Psychiatry (Residency), where he or she works and studies under supervision of experienced psychiatrists. A Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist spends 2 additional years in advanced training (Fellowship) learning about the complexities of treating children with mental illness. Psychiatrists, as medical doctors, are competent to diagnose mental illness and prescribe medication. Psychiatrists are also trained in several kinds of psychotherapy and non-pharmacological treatments. Psychiatrists have MD or DO degrees. They are licensed by the state Board of Medicine and are bound by the ethical standards and continuing education requirements of that board. A Psychologist is someone who has attended graduate school and earned a doctorate in Psychology, either a PhD or a PsyD. These programs are 5 to 7 years of intensive study and practical training in psychotherapy, psychological testing, and/or designing psychological research. Psychology graduate students write a doctoral thesis in one particular area of expertise. Psychologists have supervised clinical training in testing and treating patients throughout graduate school, but have intensive training during the last year of their program (internship), and then for a year or more after receiving their doctoral degree (Postdoctoral fellowship, or "Post-doc"). A Psychologist cannot prescribe medication but is an expert in using non-medical techniques to diagnose and treat mental illness and behavioral problems. Psychologists are licensed by the State board of licensing and must adhere to state standards for psychologists, including ethics and continuing education. A psychologist cannot be licensed until after completing a postdoctoral fellowship. A Social Worker has a masters degree (MSW or LICSW). This is a focused 2 year degree during which time the social worker has intensive training in Psychotherapy. Social Workers are experts in the techniques they use, but may not be able to use as many different kinds of psychotherapy techniques as psychologists. Social Workers are licensed through the State Board of Licensing and are required to adhere to state standards for social workers. A Therapist is a general term for someone who performs therapy. A therapist could be hold an MD, a PhD, a Masters degree or in some states no degree at all. Therapists in Massachusetts must have a Master's degree and be independently licensed to do therapy, for example a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) is a therapist.
  • What is a nurse practitioner?
    A Nurse Practitioner (NP) and a Registered Nurse Clinical Specialist are two similar but not identical designations. People who are NP's or RCNS's have bachelors’ degrees in nursing, usually a minimum of 2 years practical nursing experience, and then a two year masters degree that includes both academic study and clinical experience in providing a particular kind of medical care, such a psychiatry, pediatrics, or neurology. Both NP's and RCNS's can see patients and prescribe medication, but most states require them to be supervised by a medical doctor.
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