On July 10, the Maryland Commission to Study Mental & Behavioral Health issued its Interim Report. The Commission will make recommendations to improve the continuum of mental health services, as well as, but not limited to (1) improving the statewide, comprehensive crisis response system; and (2) ensuring parity of resources to meet mental health needs. There are four subcommittees, as follows:
- Youth & Families
- Crisis Services
- Finance & Funding
- Public Safety/Judicial System
The report includes focus areas of each subcommittee, a list of members and its work to date. The initial recommendations are assessing reciprocity for Professional Counselors and Therapists, updating the “emergency facility” definition for individuals in crisis, and implementing parity according to the Mental Health and Addiction Equity Act.
The Commission has been working to identify the gaps and problems with the state’s mental and behavioral health systems, investigate specific areas of concern and opportunity, and gather stakeholders to assist in finding long term, transformative solutions. Although its work will continue through the next three years, during the next six months the subcommittees and Commission are expected to recommend substantive solutions that will be considered for legislative and/or regulatory implementation.