Leading Stories, Articles

July 9th, 2021

Community Impact Survey reveals high levels of poor mental health

By Phyllis Hanlon

In 2019, the Massachusetts Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System survey found that 11 percent of respondents reported poor mental health. More recently, the Department of Public Health (DPH) conducted the COVID-19 Community Impact Survey (CCIS); the findings of this survey revealed poor mental health rates three times higher than the 2019 survey.

The survey was conducted between September and November 2020 and had more than 35,000 responses. Any Massachusetts resident 14 years old and older was eligible to respond.

Initial results were released February 17, 2021; updated findings were reported May 12, 2021.…

October 7th, 2020

Residential schools adopt safety measures related to pandemic

By Phyllis Hanlon

In March, states across the region ordered the closure of school systems. While public and many private academic institutions shuttered their doors, residential schools were considered “essential services” and were allowed to remain open.

Elizabeth Della Russo Becker, executive director of maaps (Massachusetts Association of Approved Private Schools), reported that residential schools serve a diverse population that is more vulnerable to infectious diseases than students in the general population.

Becker applauded Secretary of Health and Human Services Marylou Sudders for the “wise and unique” decisions that helped protect these students. “She understands that these schools have needy and often voiceless populations.…