Maryland mental health advocates rally to restore funding

WASHINGTON — “Keep the door open.”

That’s the slogan that mental health advocates in Maryland have come up with as they rally to restore funding to mental health programs in the state.

Director of Public Policy for the Mental Health Association of Maryland Dan Martin says a package of spending reductions approved by the Maryland Board of Public Works closes the door on people who need mental health services just when the need for those services is growing.

On Wednesday, advocates will rally on Lawyers Mall in Annapolis, urging lawmakers to restore money that would go toward the cost of providing services at community health centers, as well as the amount reimbursed to psychiatrists working in the public health system.

Some of the cuts approved by the Board of Public Works were included in then-Gov. Martin O’Malley’s budget and approved by the Board of Public Works before Gov. Larry Hogan’s swearing in, though Hogan’s budget includes the reductions.

WTOP’s Kate Ryan contributed to this report.

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