Current Advocacy

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Contact MA House and Senate leaders to support Promote Promotion Commission and fund behavioral health promotion

Massachusetts residents: Take just 2 minutes now to contact key legislative leaders and help give social and emotional learning a permanent seat at the table with our state government.

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URGENT Action: S.2623, An Act for Prevention and Access to Appropriate Care and Treatment of Addiction, passed the MA Senate last week WITHOUT crucial language from the House version (H.4742) to establish a permanent Promote Prevent Commission—which would explicitly name SEL4MA as having a crucial seat at the table! Establishing a permanent Promote Prevent Commission would continue to advance state and local policies, programs, systems, and practices to promote positive mental, emotional, and behavioral health and prevent behavioral health issues including substance use, mental illness, and youth violence. SEL4MA Executive Director Jim Vetter would be positioned to serve on the permanent commission. The current version of the bill also removes a provision to establish a Behavioral Health Promotion, Prevention, and Early Intervention (BeHaPPE) Trust Fund, which would fund a statewide vision for promoting behavioral health and preventing behavioral health issues through evidence-based programing Leaders of the MA House and Senate are working right now to negotiate a final version of the bill. The legislative session ends next week so they need to hear from us. For the FINAL BILL to include this important permanent Promote Prevent Commission and funding to promote behavioral health, we need to take action now. Our easy-to-use tool can help you quickly send emails from the action alert page right to key legislative leaders. The 2018-2019 legislative session ends July 31, so it’s vital to act now.

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SEL4MA Executive Director Jim Vetter at a meeting of the “Promote Prevent” Commission.

Bills We’re Tracking

Promote Prevent Commission

On April 5, 2018, the Special Legislative Commission on Behavioral Health Promotion and Upstream Prevention in Massachusetts (Promote Prevent Commission), under the leadership of Chair Rep. Jim Cantwell, released its final report, Promote Prevent: A plan to promote mental, emotional, and behavioral health and to prevent behavioral health issues in our Commonwealth. Read more  

Join the SEL4MA Policy & Advocacy Committee

If you would like to become a member of SEL4MA’s Policy & Advocacy Committee to receive policy updates and join the effort to promote effective SEL statewide, please email Committee Chair Ellen Gibson at  

Social-Emotional Learning Alliance named to “Special Commission on Behavioral Health Promotion and Upstream Prevention”

Created by the Massachusetts Legislature and part of the State Budget, the Special Commission shall investigate evidence-based practices, programs and systems to prevent behavioral health disorders and promote behavioral health across the commonwealth. Specifically, the Commission supports “primary and secondary-level programs that are community, family or school-based, including whole school approaches, that reduce risk factors and increase protective factors for behavioral health disorders and foster social and emotional health.” The Commission has 24 members including “a representative from the Social-Emotional Learning Alliance for Massachusetts”. We are proud to have Jim Vetter, the chair of our Steering  Committee, as our designated member. The full text is here.

The SEL Alliance is also advocating within the business community, DESE, Boston Public Schools and teacher education while we continue to educate through regional events to better inform our members.