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An overlooked void on Cape Cod: Behavioral health services for kids

Liz Lerner
Liz Lerner

Barnstable County's online survey is asking parents to help identify those needs. The deadline is June 9.

More than 100,000 families live on Cape Cod.

But fewer than 200 parents have responded to Barnstable County's first assessment to address the region's need for behavioral-health services for infants, children and young adults.

Results from the Barnstable County Human Services survey could counter the misperception that Cape Cod is sufficiently resourced with health providers, said Mandi Speakman, deputy director of Barnstable County Human Services.

"Our hope is to bring greater awareness to the dearth of providers we have," she said. "We are in need of providers of all kinds in our region who are trained to serve youth, young adults and families."

Last year the assessment received $132,000 in American Rescue Plan funding.

Barnstable County Human Services has since been advocating for state money to address the regional need, said Barbara Dominic, Human Services Consultant to the Children’s Behavioral Health Working Group.

"But because we're part of the southeast region, programs will often be instituted on the other side of the bridge in some of the larger communities, with the unrealistic expectation that those programs will serve Barnstable County," Dominic said.

The short survey must be completed by June 9 and can be found here.

Patrick Flanary is a dad, journalist, and host of Morning Edition.