Behavioral Health in the 2020 Legislative Session
Happy New Year! The Maryland General Assembly has begun the 2020 legislative session. They will spend the next three months passing legislative policies covering an array of issues including behavioral health. Throughout session, BHSB will be working to advance our key 2020 policy recommendations to strengthen the public behavioral health system and promote behavioral health and wellness in Baltimore City. BHSB aims to promote and support policies that:

  • Strengthen and expand behavioral health crisis services
  • Support funding commitments for behavioral health
  • Increase school behavioral health supports
  • Improve Maryland’s public behavioral health system
  • Support a coordinated response to adverse childhood experiences

Governor Releases 2021 Budget

Unfortunately, the State's Fiscal Year 2021 budget submitted to the legislature last week does not fund community behavioral health services to the extent required by either the minimum wage bill of 2019 or the bipartisan HOPE Act of 2017.
 
While the FY21 budget does include a 2% increase in funding for community behavioral health services, it falls far short of the 4% increase required by law, under-funding mental health and substance use treatment by nearly $25 million. Restoring this funding is a top priority this session for BHSB and our partners. 
 
Your support is critical to our success. Keep an eye out over the coming months for action alerts and other opportunities to get involved, and be sure to follow and share posts from the Maryland Behavioral Health Coalition’s Twitter account and Facebook page .
Upcoming Events
This year the MHAMD Legislative Briefing and Reception will focus on the behavioral health needs of children with adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). They will explore programs, services and policy reforms that can protect children from the negative life outcomes that result from childhood trauma. 

When:  January 30 at 4:30 pm

Where:  The Graduate Annapolis Hotel, 126 West Street, Annapolis, MD, 21401

 
Healing City Baltimore is a sustained movement of neighbors, united as a citywide community, to engage in honest dialogue, learn from diverse perspectives, embrace our differences and commit to healing from trauma as a foundation to collectively pursuing a racially, socially and economically just and thriving Baltimore for all. Healing City Baltimore is meant to support a city-wide movement towards healing, beginning the passage of the Trauma-Informed Care Act, which will be amended to be called the Elijah Cummings Healing City Act. Click here to learn more.
Join the Maryland Behavioral Health Coalition on February 27 for the Keep the Door Open Rally in Annapolis. Make your voice heard and stand up for the one in four Marylanders living with a mental health or substance use disorder.

When:  February 27 at 12 pm

Where:  Maryland Fire-Rescue Services Memorial, corner of Calvert st and Bladen st
 
Harm Reduction Advocacy Day
Save the Date for the Baltimore Harm Reduction Coalition's Harm Reduction Advocacy Day on March 3 in Annapolis . For more information, contact Tricia Christensen at tricia@baltimoreharmreduction.org