Maryland handing out $48M in mental health grants

A wide range of mental health services in Maryland — including suicide prevention efforts for service members and addressing gaps in behavioral health for Hispanic residents — are getting additional funding starting this month, health officials announced Thursday.

The Maryland Department of Health is awarding $48 million in mental health and substance use grants that will start going out this month, according to a news release. The grants are made possible by additional funding from federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, which received congressional funding as part of a coronavirus supplement in an annual federal funding bill late last year.

“Addressing head-on the mental health and substance use challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic has intensified is instrumental to Maryland’s successful recovery,” said Maryland Health Secretary Dennis R. Schrader. “This new funding will enable us to strengthen programs and services for the Marylanders who have been most severely impacted, including those experiencing mental illness, homelessness and opioid use disorders.”

Maryland will award $16 million through the Community Mental Health Service Block Grant (MHBG).

Programs include:

  • Early serious mental illness services, including early intervention in psychosis.
  • Building “crisis care” infrastructure as part of efforts to build a statewide crisis system.
  • Suicide prevention and weapons safety training for service members, veterans and their families.
  • An effort known as “Critical Time Intervention” to help people experiencing homelessness, people with serious mental illness and those with substance use disorder during periods of transition.
  • A program to help provide case management support for people repeatedly hospitalized for psychiatric-related crises particularly in rural areas of Maryland.

The health department will also award $32 million through the Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant (SABG).

The programs include:

  • Workforce development and substance use prevention programs for local health departments.
  • Programs to address behavioral health services gaps for Hispanic residents to support systematic and comprehensive services around trauma and related behavioral health disorders.
  • Programs for pregnant women and women with children, that emphasizes treating women and their children together to reduce the need for family separation. Expanding peer support in opioid treatment programs.
  • Expanding child crisis services.
  • COVID-19 point-of-care for substance use residential treatment providers.
  • HIV/AIDS services.

Jack Moore

Jack Moore joined WTOP.com as a digital writer/editor in July 2016. Previous to his current role, he covered federal government management and technology as the news editor at Nextgov.com, part of Government Executive Media Group.

This article was written by WTOP’s news partners at Maryland Matters and republished with permission. Sign up for Maryland Matters’ free email subscription today.

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