Our Families Say 7

What happens when you need services in Massachusetts, but are having a really hard time accessing them? What happens when you are deemed ineligible for Department of Mental Health services on more than one occasion, even though many of your friends, family and even professionals are telling you that you should be eligible? What happens if Children’s Behavioral Health Initiative (CBHI) services are not enough, or if you are nearing the age of 21 and can’t access those services anymore? What happens when outpatient therapy just isn’t doing it for you? What do you do if you don’t identify with anyone at your local Recovery Learning Community, for whatever reason?

These are questions I have been asking myself as I near the dreaded age of 21.

In less than a year, I will no longer be eligible for CBHI services and I will not have the option of anything other than outpatient therapy for my mental health needs. Hopefully, I will be able to keep my outpatient therapist. Even that is up in the air because I will have to reapply for Massachusetts Health services once I turn 21.

I am very nervous about this transition. I am emotionally well right now, but I know “what comes up must come down” on my emotional Ferris wheel. And what will happen to me then?

Thankfully, I have a great support system, comprised mostly of people who I have met through the Parent/Professional Advocacy League. They have become great friends to me, and I know they will be with me through thick and thin. I have become very resourceful in my search for services and it helps to have friends in high places, so I’m sure it will be okay.

Until then, though, I will be stuck in between.

—Dani, transition-age youth