Action Alert!

Urge Your Legislators to Pass the Behavioral Health System Modernization Act!

MHAMD has joined with its partners on the Maryland Behavioral Health Coalition to introduce the Behavioral Health System Modernization Act, a comprehensive set of reforms and system enhancements designed to meet the increasing demand for high quality mental health and substance use care.

If enacted, the Behavioral Health System Modernization Act would:

  • Increase comprehensive community-based treatment by expanding Maryland’s network of Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHCs)
  • Improve health outcomes and treatment quality by expanding the delivery of individualized, data-driven measurement-based care in behavioral health care settings, and by enhancing care coordination in primary care settings
  • Strengthen the behavioral health workforce by expanding resources and support for peer support networks and certified peer recovery specialists
  • Improve care for children and youth with behavioral health needs by increasing the availability of home- and community-based wraparound services
  • Reduce reliance on law enforcement and emergency departments by enhancing Maryland’s network of crisis call centers, mobile crisis teams, and crisis stabilization facilities

We need your help! Visit our Action Center to learn how you can quickly help advance this bill. Just a moment of your time will have a huge impact.

After you complete the Action Alert please forward this message to all your friends so they can make their voices heard too. Thank you for your support!

This is the week! The MHAMD 2022 Virtual Legislative Briefing is this Thursday, February 17 at 3pm.

Thank you to the 800+ people who have already registered. If you haven’t registered yet, there’s still time!

Attendees will hear directly from elected officials and other decision makers about the public policy issues impacting Marylanders’ behavioral health, and from 2022 candidates for governor who will share their visions for behavioral health care in Maryland.

The event will will also feature our annual Champions of Today award ceremony, honoring individuals whose leadership has had a lasting and profound impact on Maryland’s behavioral health system and the people it serves. Our 2022 awardees are:

Ms. Cynthia Petion | 2022 Distinguished Service Award for her exemplary lifetime leadership and public service resulting in a significant and lasting impact on the lives of Marylanders living with mental health and substance use disorders. Click here to say congratulations to Cynthia!

Ms. Michelle Zabel | 2022 Paula Hamburger Child Advocacy Award for her dedication and efforts to improve the lives of children and youth across the country living with mental health and substance use disorders. Click here to say congratulations to Michelle! 

Delegate Joseline Pena-Melnyk | 2022 Legislator of the Year Award for her steadfast leadership during the 2021 legislative session resulting in a range of new policies that are critically important to our behavioral health community. Click here to say congratulations to Delegate Pena-Melnyk!

This Week in Annapolis

The policy priorities detailed above aren’t the only important issues being debated in Annapolis. Here are some of the other bills MHAMD will testify on this week. Our full updated bill list is attached.

SB 549 MHAMD supports this emergency bill requiring Optum Maryland to meet certain requirements before it can retract payments from behavioral health providers.

SB 559 MHAMD supports this bill establishing a supported decision making process to reduce the need for public guardianship. This is a Mental Health and Aging Coalition priority.

SB 509 | HB 481 MHAMD supports this bill decriminalizing possession and distribution of drug paraphernalia.

HB 912 MHAMD supports this bill preventing individuals from being billed extra when forced to go out-of-network for behavioral health treatment.

Further information about the material above is available on the Maryland General Assembly website.

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