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Ben Thomas

Chief of Staff, Office of Rep. James Cantwell

Ben was a lead coauthor of the legislation establishing the Special Legislative Commission on Behavioral Health Promotion and Upstream Prevention. Acting as the Commission's Director on behalf of Chair Cantwell, he planned meetings and hearings, organized local and national experts to testify, engaged stakeholders and thought leaders, and managed the Commission's policy and funding working groups. He also directed the writing of the Commission's report and recommendations. 

As Rep. Cantwell's Chief of Staff, Ben directed legislative affairs, communications, and constituent services for Rep. Cantwell's Office. This included organizing numerous public health briefings and founding the Marshfield and Scituate Suicide Prevention Coalition (now a part of the Plymouth County Coalition). Ben also helped Jim introduce key legislation and funding initiatives to expand substance use prevention, promote mental health, and improve school-based law enforcement.

Ben has over a decade of experience in behavioral health issues serving in acute, community-based, technical assistance, and policy settings. Prior to joining Rep. Cantwell's Office, Ben was a researcher and writer at Education Development Center, Inc., where he supported state and national behavioral health grant projects such as the Massachusetts Technical Assistance Partnership for Prevention, the National Center for Mental Health Promotion and Youth Violence Prevention, and the California Endowment’s Building Health Communities. Ben also worked for a medically assisted treatment center and then on a locked inpatient dual-diagnosis psychiatric unit at McLean Hospital.  

He holds a M.S. in law and public policy from Northeastern University and B.A. in criminal justice and philosophy. 

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