Behavioral Health FY21 Budget ALERT
In recent years, thanks to an outpouring of support from people across the state, MHAMD and its partners on the Behavioral Health Coalition have been successful in securing long-overdue multiyear funding increases for community mental health and substance use treatment.
Unfortunately, the Fiscal Year 2021 budget submitted to the legislature last week does not fund community behavioral health services to the extent required by either the minimum wage bill of 2019 or the bipartisan HOPE Act of 2017.
While the FY21 budget does include a 2% increase in funding for community behavioral health services, it falls far short of the 4% increase required by law, underfunding mental health and substance use treatment by nearly $25 million. Restoring this funding is a top priority this session for MHAMD and the Maryland Behavioral Health Coalition.
Your support is critical to our success. Keep an eye out over the coming months for action alerts and other opportunities to get involved, and be sure to follow and share posts from the Behavioral Health Coalition’s Twitter account and Facebook page.
MHAMD Legislative Briefing and Reception
Abuse, neglect, familial violence and other adverse childhood experiences are on the rise – affecting nearly half of all U.S. children and resulting in diminished academic performance, mental health and substance use disorders, unemployment, incarceration and overall poor life outcomes. From 2005 to 2017, we’ve seen a staggering 52% national rise in adolescent major depressive episodes. Yet as the need for behavioral health care rises, access to care continues to decline.
Dr. Roy Wade, Jr., our keynote speaker, is committed to reversing this trend by improving community health care in economically distressed communities. Dr. Wade is an instructor of pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania and a pediatrician at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. His research focuses on the intersection of childhood poverty, adversity and well-being. Through his work, he hopes to translate research on the science of childhood adversity and toxic stress into effective strategies that improve community level systems of care for those who need it most.
Upcoming Hearings, Briefings and Other Activities
Bill introductions have been slow so far, but we expect an increase in the coming weeks as a number of important procedural deadlines are fast approaching. Here are some of the activities MHAMD is watching this week.
- Meeting of the Maryland Health insurance Coverage Protection Commission [Monday, January 20 – 1:30 p.m. – House Health and Government Operations Committee]
- Briefing on the adequacy of health insurer provider networks [Tuesday, January 21 – 1:00 p.m. – House Health and Government Operations Committee]
- Briefing on rural health grants from the Maryland Community Health Resources Commission [Wednesday, January 22 – 1:00 p.m. – House Health and Government Operations Committee]