Massachusetts Priority Topic Investments

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Massachusetts Overdose Investment Snapshot

Combatting the current overdose crisis is a priority for the agency. This page provides an overview of the FY21 CDC Injury Center (NCIPC) overdose investments for the state of Massachusetts.

There were 91,799 drug overdose deaths in the United States in 2020 (28.3 deaths per 100,000 standard population), a stark 30% increase from 2019. Approximately 75% of drug overdose deaths in 2020 involved an opioid, with synthetic opioids (e.g., illicitly manufactured fentanyls) accounting for more than 80% of all opioid-involved deaths. Drug overdose deaths involving synthetic opioids increased by 55% and deaths involving psychostimulants (e.g., methamphetamine) increased by 47% from 2019 to 2020. Drug overdose deaths involving cocaine also increased by 22%.

In 2020 in Massachusetts there were:


overdose deaths


overdose deaths per 100,000 people (age-adjusted)

Source: NVSS – Drug Overdose Deaths

Overdose Funding At A Glance
Overdose Funding At A Glance


FY21 Massachusetts Total Overdose Prevention Funding

FY21 Awards

Overdose Data to Action (OD2A)

  • Massachusetts State Award: $6,401,299

Public Health and Public Safety

  • Overdose Response Strategy: $74,500*
  • Merrimack Valley Community Innovation Award: $91,147
  • Brandeis University Community Innovation Award: $299,149


  • Brigham and Women’s Hospital: $769,145
  • Boston Medical Center: $724,756
  • Massachusetts General Hospital: $362,156

*average award amount

Examples of How Massachusetts Is Working to Prevent Overdose

overdose strategies
Data-driven prevention

Massachusetts used State Unintentional Drug Overdose Reporting System (SUDORS) data to identify geographic locations of drug-related overdoses to better target prevention activities, address concern about potential increases in overdose deaths in certain races/ethnicities, and help with surveillance efforts.

capacity building
Recovery support navigator

Massachusetts local grantee, Barnstable County, employs a recovery support navigator to help community members access recovery services in an area with limited transit options. Surrounding communities now seek to replicate this model after observing its success.

CDC Overdose Prevention Strategies

CDC’s Injury Center plays a critical role in addressing the drug overdose epidemic by driving progress in the five strategic priorities that guide CDC’s response framework for preventing overdoses.

Additional Resources

Massachusetts Suicide Prevention Investment Snapshot

Preventing suicide is a priority for the agency. This page provides an overview of the FY21 CDC Injury Center (NCIPC) suicide prevention investments for the state of Massachusetts.

Suicide is a leading cause of death in the United States. It was responsible for almost 46,000 deaths in 2020, which is about one death every 11 minutes. The number of people who think about or attempt suicide is even higher. In 2020, 12.2 million American adults seriously thought about suicide, 3.2 million planned a suicide attempt, and 1.2 million attempted suicide.

In 2020 in Massachusetts there were:


suicide deaths


suicide deaths per 100,000 people (age-adjusted)

Suicide Prevention Funding At A Glance
Suicide Funding At A Glance


FY21 Massachusetts Total Suicide Prevention Funding



FY21 Awards

Comprehensive Suicide Prevention

  • Massachusetts Department of Public Health: $650,000
Massachusetts's Priorities
Suicide Prevention

Massachusetts is preventing suicide with CDC Injury Center (NCIPC) funding by:

  • Strengthening access and delivery of suicide care
  • Creating protective environments
  • Promoting connectedness
  • Teaching coping and problem-solving skills
  • Identifying and supporting people at risk

Some groups have higher rates of suicide than others. To address disparities, Massachusetts is focusing on:

  • Men 25-64 years of age
  • Youth
  • All Hispanic/Latinx persons

This snapshot reflects suicide prevention priorities and activities under Year 1 funding of the Comprehensive Suicide Prevention (CSP) Program. This information is subject to change, as the CSP state recipients are now in Year 2 funding.

Examples of How Massachusetts Is Working to Prevent Suicide

suicide strategies
Suicide identification training

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health plans to change policies within the state’s career centers to include mandatory training for all employees to help identify clients who may show warning signs of suicide and connect them to support resources.

Inclusive suicide care

Massachusetts plans to work with community behavioral health providers in select areas, such as Lawrence and other communities with a large Hispanic population, to support their ability to provide culturally appropriate suicide care. Signs of Suicide, a peer norms program, and Good Behavior Game, a social-emotional learning program, are being implemented in these communities as upstream prevention strategies.

CDC Suicide Prevention Strategies

Suicide is preventable and there is no single cause, so prevention requires addressing the multiple factors linked to suicide at the individual, relationship, community, and societal levels. As such, CDC is leading a comprehensive approach to suicide prevention. Such an approach aims to prevent people from becoming suicidal in the first place and support people at increased risk. CDC uses data to track and monitor suicide trends, research possible risks and what works to prevent them, and help communities put proven suicide prevention strategies into place.

CDC’s Suicide Prevention Resource for Action outlines seven strategies that are based on the best available evidence to help communities and states focus on prevention activities with the greatest potential to prevent suicide.

  • ""
    Strengthen economic supports
  • ""
    Create protective environments
  • ""
    Improve access and delivery of suicide care
  • ""
    Promote healthy connections
  • ""
    Teach coping and problem-solving skills
  • ""
    Identify and support people at risk
  • ""
    Lessen harms and prevent future risk
  • syndromicsurveillance
    Near Real-Time Surveillance
    Improving surveillance – collecting better and more timely data is also an important strategy to better understand, monitor, and prevent suicide and suicidal behavior. Expanding surveillance of nonfatal suicide-related outcomes (e.g., suicide attempts, suicide ideation) can help improve timeliness of data, identify spikes, and inform prevention and response.

Additional Resources

Massachusetts ACEs Investment Snapshot

Preventing, identifying, and responding to adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) is a priority for the agency. This page provides an overview of the FY21 CDC Injury Center (NCIPC) ACEs investments for the state of Massachusetts.

ACEs are preventable, potentially traumatic events that occur in childhood (0-17 years) such as neglect, experiencing or witnessing violence, or having a family member attempt or die by suicide. Across 25 states surveyed in 2019, 61% of adults had at least one ACE and 16% had 4 or more types of ACEs. Preventing ACEs could reduce a large number of health conditions, including up to 21 million cases of depression, 1.9 million cases of heart disease, and 2.5 million cases of overweight/obesity.

Between 2018-2019 in Massachusetts:


of the population reported experiencing one or more ACEs*

*ACEs statistics are reported by parents and include all reports of ACEs except for child abuse and physical neglect (Source: National Survey on Children’s Health).

ACEs Funding At A Glance
ACEs Funding At A Glance


Total ACEs Funding Appropriated within Massachusetts for FY21 Activities



FY21 Awards

Preventing ACEs: Data to Action (PACE:D2A)

  • Massachusetts Department of Public Health: $500,000
Other Support for ACEs in Massachusetts

Beyond the ACEs appropriation, CDC supports several initiatives, research, and partnerships to build state and tribal surveillance infrastructure and enhance ACEs prevention and mitigation.

In Massachusetts, some of those other initiatives include:

Examples of How Massachusetts Is Working to Prevent ACEs

overdose strategies
Prevention and surveillance activities

With PACE:D2A funding, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health is adding questions about experiencing ACEs to the Massachusetts Youth Risk Behavior Survey to provide representative state-wide estimates of ACEs for Massachusetts public high school students. The department is also using emergency department syndromic surveillance data to monitor certain ACEs in real time to help inform community needs and prevention efforts. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health is promoting social norms that protect against violence and adversity by engaging men and boys in Latinx communities as allies in prevention; strengthening economic supports to families by informing policies that increase access to paid family and medical leave; and connecting youth to caring adults and activities through mentoring and after-school programs and educating youth-serving providers on adverse and positive childhood experiences.

Supporting low-income and minority workers

The Massachusetts Essentials for Childhood team is particularly interested in increasing the earned income tax filing rates for low-income workers and has partnered with multiple state agencies, the healthcare sector, and economic justice organizations to further this work. Massachusetts’s paid family and medical leave policy took effect in January 2021. The Massachusetts team is also working to ensure policy implementation is inclusive of Black, Hispanic/Latino, and low-wage workers. The Massachusetts team has been invited by the new Department of Family and Medical Leave to provide support in bringing a public health approach to the rollout of this policy, including work related to data collection and unintended consequences.

Improving social norms and connectedness

In the first year of the project, the Massachusetts Essentials for Childhood team focused on two municipalities as pilot communities. The project is now expanding to include more pilot communities with varying geographies and racial compositions. The Massachusetts team works with communities and other partners to develop, field test, and improve resources related to social norms change for community use. Examples of these resources include a social connectedness toolkit that municipal leaders used to assess their own communities’ capacity to increase social connections and a Plans of Safe Care Brief, a program targeting families that experience substance misuse in the home.

CDC ACEs Prevention and Mitigation Strategies

ACEs and their associated harms are preventable. Creating and sustaining safe, stable, nurturing relationships and environments for all children and families can prevent ACEs and help all children reach their full health and life potential. CDC has produced a suite of technical packages to help states and communities take advantage of the best available evidence to prevent violence, including the many types of violence and social, economic, and other exposures in the home and community that adversely affect children.

From this suite of technical packages, CDC developed Preventing ACEs: Leveraging the Best Available Evidence, which outlines six strategies that can prevent ACEs from happening in the first place as well as mitigate the harms of ACEs.

Additional Resources