Health and Human Service Hotlines

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Department of Mental Health Cape & Islands Crisis Hotline

Elder Abuse Hotline
1-800-922-2275 (V/TDD)

Child-At-Risk Hotline

Baby Safe Haven Hotline
866-814-SAFE (7233)

Transitional Assistance Fraud Hotline
800-FRAUD-99 (800-372-8399)

Request Emergency Interpreter
800-249-9949 (V/TTY)

Disabled Persons Protection Commission Hotline

Safelink: Domestic Violence Hotline
877-785-2020 - 877-521-2601 (TTY)

Veterans Crisis Line
800-273-8255, Press 1

Funding Announcement: Barnstable County Receives $550,000 for Opioid Prevention Award

We are pleased to announce that the Barnstable County Department of Human Services on behalf of the Barnstable County Regional Substance Abuse Council was awarded a five-year $550,000 grant from the Massachusetts Department of Health Bureau of Substance Abuse Services to support an Opioid Abuse Prevention Collaborative.

Barnstable County’s Substance Abuse Council (SAC) was established in January 2014 by the County to coordinate a regional public health approach to substance abuse across the continuum of prevention, criminal justice, treatment and recovery. The purpose of SAC is to establish a communication infrastructure across municipalities; identify needs and addresses gaps and disparities in the service system using SAMHSA’s Strategic Prevention Framework (SPF) model; maximize interagency and inter-municipality collaboration; and maximize funding and resource opportunities to address the problem of substance abuse in our region.

The grant award will support a Barnstable County Opioid Abuse Collaborative (OAC) and will be structured as a working committee of the SAC with a specific emphasis on planning and implementing opioid prevention strategies. The funding will allow the region to build upon existing collaborations among members of the SAC and enhance, expand, and formalize collaborations between participating municipalities.

Suicide Prevention Efforts are Everyone’s Responsibility

Cape Cod Times
December 9, 2014
by Cape Cod Times Staff

Every late fall for the past three years, we have written at least one editorial about the high rate of suicide on the Cape and Islands. As we approach the holidays, it appears some people just can’t bear the pain of depression or addiction any longer.

Mental health experts can only speculate as to why Barnstable County has the second highest rate of suicides in the state, after Franklin County. Representatives from the Cape and Islands Community Health Network Alliance report that 95 percent of individuals who commit suicide suffer from mental illness. Further, they note that loneliness, loss, addiction, and lack of treatment can all contribute to someone taking his or her life.

The latest spike in suicides has hit Nantucket, where five island residents have died in the past two months. We hope as many people as possible can attend a community meeting Dec. 15 at the high school. Beginning at 6 p.m., the meeting will include representatives from the state Department of Mental Health, the Cape and Islands Suicide Prevention Coalition and Family and Children’s Services of Nantucket.

Continue reading Suicide Prevention Efforts are Everyone’s Responsibility

Holiday Volunteer Opportunities Available

Cape Cod Volunteers has been diligently gathering a list of holiday volunteer opportunities available on Cape Cod this holiday season. Organizations are seeking volunteers to help in a variety of ways including laying wreathes at the National Cemetery in Bourne, delivering holiday meals to those in need, and even organizing first night celebrations across the Cape.

If you or your loved ones would like to make a difference this holiday season by giving the gift of time, check out the Holiday Volunteer Opportunities page on the Cape Cod Volunteers website today!

Human Services Transportation Plan Released for Comment

The Cape Cod Commission has released a draft of its Coordinated Public Transit – Human Services Transportation Plan for public comment. The plan is intended to identify needs and gaps in human transportation services for seniors and individuals with disabilities in Barnstable County.

Comments may be submitted via email to Glenn Cannon, Director of Technical Services at or via mail to: CPT Human Services Transportation Plan, Attn: Glenn Cannon, P.O. Box 226, Barnstable, MA 02630.

The comment period runs through December 22nd. Further information can be found on the Cape Cod Commission website.

November is National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month

On November 18, 2014 individuals can take advantage of free confidential memory screenings as part of National Memory Screening Day, an annual initiative to promote proper detection of memory problems. Hope Dementia & Alzheimer’s Services, part of HopeHealth’s family of services, will provide memory screenings at 12 locations across southeastern Massachusetts. Screenings will be held at senior centers in Barnstable, Brewster, Chatham, Dennis, Eastham, Falmouth, Mashpee, New Bedford, Orleans, Plymouth, Sandwich and Yarmouth.

As many as 5.2 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease. The number is escalating in line with the aging population; the first baby boomers turned 65 in 2011. Advanced age is the greatest risk factor, with the incidence of the disease doubling every five years between 65 and 95. One in nine people aged 65 and older have the disease, affecting 120,000 individuals age 65 and older in Massachusetts.

A memory screening averages 30 minutes and consists of questions and tasks to assess memory. It does not diagnose any illness, but can indicate whether someone should pursue a follow-up medical exam. It is estimated that missed diagnoses of dementia may be as high as 90 percent.

Memory screenings are administered by Hope Dementia & Alzheimer’s Services trained staff. For more information, call 508-775-5656 or visit