Monday, April 2, 2012

Integrating mental health and substance abuse services in Maryland

The state of Maryland is preparing to make major reforms to the public mental health system. Currently, mental health services and substance abuse treatment are delivered through two separate administrations, under different regulations, and using different funding sources. Now, Maryland seeks to integrate these two systems into a single behavioral health system.

The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is soliciting feedback on models for merging these two systems. Information about the process and a schedule of public meetings is located here. Access a glossary of terms commonly used in health care financing here.

The next public meeting will take place on May 1, location to be announced. The decisions made at this meeting and subsequent ones will influence the delivery of mental health care in Maryland for years to come. We urge providers, caregivers, and all advocates to learn about behavioral health integration in Maryland and weigh in so we can ensure the new system supports the highest quality of mental health care for children and adolescents in the state.