Mental Health Clinicians

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See the Latest on Our Clinicians in the News!

Who We Are

CliniciansUNITED is a multidisciplinary group of behavioral health clinicians who are associate members of the Massachusetts Human Service Workers Union, SEIU Local 509. Together, we are fighting to ensure each and every Bay State resident has access to quality, affordable mental health services — and to bring about the fair reimbursement policies and practices needed to make universal access possible.

CliniciansUNITED was formed to influence public and private policies that directly impact the vital services we provide in communities statewide. From Medicaid rates to insurance panels, these policies are incredibly important to mental health clinicians and those we serve.

We can win the fight for affordable, accessible mental health services for all — but only if we enact legislation to allow clinicians to work together for change. With your help, we’ll get it done.

Mission Statement

We are behavioral health clinicians who provide psychotherapy and other mental health services. We formed an organization with the Service Employees International Union for the purposes of:

  • influencing public policy and practice to protect and improve access and availability of our services
  • passing legislation to enact state anti-trust immunity, allowing us to organize to improve declining reimbursement rates and the reimbursement system for our services
  • ensuring that we can continue to meet the needs of a broad spectrum of clients and communities while providing for our own livelihood

Clinician Testimonials

Liz Zoob Headshot

Liz Zoob, LICSW (Cambridge, Mass.)

“Becoming a member of SEIU 509/CliniciansUNITED is the most exciting, hopeful political action I have taken in my 36 years as a clinical social worker. I am so impressed with the dedication and knowledgeability of the staff, and the thoughtfulness and enthusiasm of my fellow clinicians. Others have said it before me, but I really am beginning to believe that ‘together we can!’”

Dr. Richard Melito (Newton, Mass.)

“The health care map is changing. The task force is making recommendations that could change the whole complexion of how services are delivered, so I think it’s important to be able to organize so we can have more influence in what is going to be happening, rather than standing by as an onlooker. It will give us more leverage not only for ourselves, but also for our clients. The environment seems to be changing more now so it’s important to be in a position where you can have a say and not sit by and passively accept what’s been handed down.”

Denise Peaslee Headshot_rsDenise Peaslee, LMHC (Lowell, Mass.)

“Joining CliniciansUNITED  has allowed me the opportunity to connect with other mental health professionals. Collaboratively with the employees of SEIU, we stay current in understanding the continuous changes to healthcare and work cooperatively  to influence positive changes within the mental health profession.  With CliniciansUNITED, we have a real voice!”

Frank Kashner Headshot_rsFrank Kashner, LICSW (Salem, Mass.)

“I have waited years for Clinicians United.  As a former union member, I am very aware of the many ways that being in a union can help union members.  As a relative newcomer to Social Work, I was shocked at the many problems faced by Social Workers, our clients, and those in related professions.  I envied the nurses who are organized, paid better, and able to have a collective voice about patient care.  I’m grateful that SEIU 509 has the foresight and vision to invest in us – and I hope that others recognize this amazing opportunity, and join us.”

Toni Acevedo Headshot_rsAngelica ‘Toni’ Acevedo, LICSW (Salem, Mass.)

” I am a proud social worker who cares about where we are heading in the future! SEIU 509/CliniciansUNITED has given me the chance to further the cause and meet like-minded caring mental health professionals who want to make a statewide difference. It’s a place to speak your mind and be able to be a part of a larger cause for the good of all who touch clients’ lives every day! United we stand!”

Our Clinicians Study with UMass Donahue Institute

Our study, entitled “The Challenges of Private Practice: A Study of Clinicians’ Experiences Providing Mental Health Care in Massachusetts,” was published in April 2015 by the University of Massachusetts Donahue Institute.

Key findings from the study include:

  • Private practice clinicians across the Commonwealth face significant challenges providing care, particularly in relation to working with insurance companies and participating in insurance panels.

  • The two most frequent barriers highlighted were related to inadequate reimbursement rates from insurance companies and various problems encountered when dealing with managed care organizations (MCOs).

  • Low reimbursement rates and the challenges encountered when working with insurance companies not only affect the availability of services, they also affect the quality of care. Private practice clinicians are increasingly making adjustments to their practices to keep them financially viable.

  • Clinicians cited the lack of resources across the Commonwealth and acknowledged that there are regional differences in the availability of services. Services specifically mentioned include outpatient clinics, community mental health centers, hospital clinics, inpatient hospitals, acute care facilities, partial hospitals and intensive outpatient programs, residential facilities, detox/substance abuse programs, eating disorder programs, and services for children and adolescents.

Click here to view a PDF of the complete study.

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Mental Health Clinicians In The News

Our latest news clips featuring mental health clinicians and the issues we’re fighting for together:

Clawback Victory for Clinicians! (July 2019)

CliniciansUNITED Applauds Senate Action to Limit Insurance “Clawbacks” (November 2017)

Op-Ed by Clinicians in Commonwealth Magazine (May 2017)

SEIU 509 State House Alert: End Clawbacks for Mental Health Treatment (May 2017)

CliniciansUNITED In The Boston Globe’s Spotlight (August 2016)

Human Service Workers, Fee-for-Service Clinicians Testify on New Earned Sick Time Regulations (June 2015)


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