Maryland lawmakers have been riding the welcomed-wave of Bi-Partisan efforts recently. A group of state senators from both sides of the aisle have organized a $35 million package to improve mental health care systems across the state.
The group seeks to create behavioral health systems in Maryland that are dedicated to helping people before an issue becomes an emergency. “Behavioral health is not a partisan issue. It seems that everyone has a family member or friend who is grappling with mental health or substance abuse concerns,” said Senate Minority Leader Stephen Hershey (R-District 36). “This is a package of proven reforms that will improve behavior health outcomes, reduce unnecessary and costly hospitalizations, keep people out of crisis and save lives, ultimately,” Dan Martin added, senior director of public policy at the Mental Health Association of Maryland.
A Lifesaving Package
Denise Evans, President of the National Alliance on Mental Issues Maryland, said the bill includes “linking individuals to proper services, diverting those in crisis away from costly emergency department and especially law enforcement interactions.”
Here’s a list of the state’s Behavioral Health Bills:
- Senate Bill 3 — 988 Trust Fund
- Senate Bill 101 — Maryland Medical Assistance Program — Collaborative Care Model Services
- Senate Bill 255 — Home- and Community-Based Services for Children and Youth
- Senate Bill 362 — Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics
- Senate Bill 534 — Preserve Telehealth Access Act of 2023
- Senate Bill 581 — Behavioral Health Care Coordination Value-Based Purchasing Pilot Program
- Senate Bill 582 — Behavioral Health Model for Maryland
It’s an expensive package but lawmakers expect for it to pay for itself. It will initially be absorbed in state budget.
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