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
Your support is critical to our success. This is a big bill and we’ll need your help to get it passed. Keep an eye out over the coming weeks for Action Alerts and other ways you can get involved.
The MHAMD 2022 Virtual Legislative Briefing is just over a week away. If you haven’t already, please register and join us on February 17. This event is free to all.
Attendees will hear directly from elected officials and other decision makers about the public policy issues impacting Marylanders’ behavioral health, and from 2022 gubernatorial candidates 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 241 MHAMD supports this bill establishing a fund to support the designation and maintenance of 9-8-8 as the new universal telephone number for suicide prevention and behavioral health crisis response. This is Behavioral Health Coalition priority legislation. (This is the Senate version of a bill MHAMD testified on last week in the House.)
SB 323 MHAMD supports this bill prohibiting prior authorization requirements for medication used to treat opioid use disorder.
SB 275 MHAMD supports this bill providing paid family leave for workers who need time to care for ailing relatives.
HB 459 MHAMD supports this bill implementing a range of reforms aimed at diverting youth away from the juvenile justice system.
Further information about the material above is available on the Maryland General Assembly website.