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MHA : newinitiatives

NEW and Expanding Initiatives

Public Health Fact Sheet

Coping with Pandemic Flu

Cultural Competency

MHA, in collaboration with CSAs and advocacy organizations, continue to initiate and promote activities that enhance the continued integration of cultural awareness and cultural competence throughout the PMHS.

A Workgroup on Cultural Competency and Workforce Development was convened to examine barriers to access to appropriate mental health services provided by health care professionals who are culturally competent to address the needs of Maryland’s diverse population. Their recommendations were made available in a 2007 Joint Chairman’s Report.

Final Report Cultural Competency Workforce

Evidence-Based Practices

MHA, with its continued collaboration with the University of Maryland Mental Health Systems Improvement Collaborative, continue to expand the implementation of evidence-based practice models in supported employment, family psycho-education, and assertive community treatment.

Statewide and National Recognition for Evidence-Based Practice in Supported Employment Project:

The Maryland Rehabilitation Association presented its Annual Distinguished Service Award to Steve Reeder, Mental Hygiene Administration (MHA) and Christine Johnson, Division of Rehabilitation Services (DORS) for their leadership and vision in transforming the Maryland’s Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) in Supported Employment (SE) initiative into a national model of success.

Under their direction, Maryland has been recognized nationally as a leader in competitive employment outcomes for consumers with Serious Mental Illness (SMI) among its EBP sites and for its groundbreaking efforts in aligning and integrating employment services across state vocational rehabilitation VR and mental health (MH) agencies.

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA)

Using funding from the Transformation State Incentive Grant, Maryland is implementing MHFA as an effective early intervention strategy for improved recognition and treatment of individuals who are developing or experiencing psychiatric disorders. MHFA training is a 12-hour course, which is being administered through a contract with the Maryland Mental Health Association.

Participants learn to use the Mental Health First Aide Action Plan:
Assess risk of suicide or harm
Listen non-judgmentally
Give reassurance and information
Encourage person to get appropriate professional help
Encourage self-help and other support strategies from peers, family members and friends.

The concept of first aid for a physical health crisis is familiar to most people through such interventions as CPR. MHFA extends the first aid model to those having a mental health emergency. To that end, Marylanders will be trained in how to:

Assist an individual who is developing or experiencing a mental health emergency, and Be effective responders to these situations by helping people to get appropriate care and treatment.

MHFA, which was first developed and tested in Australia, has elicited interest from mental health agencies in a number of countries and is only beginning to draw attention in the U.S. Maryland’s MHFA program is likely to be closely watched by state mental health agencies across the country, and Maryland is taking steps to facilitate the implementation of MHFA in other states. (Maryland Transformation staff has already established a partnership with their counterparts in Missouri.)

A draft training manual and related teaching notes have been developed for use in Maryland and other states.

For more information on MHFA, contact the Program Director: Erin Leatherwood at eleatherwood@mhamd.org or 410-235-1178 X202

Youth MOVE

Youth MOVE (Motivating Others through Voices of Experience) promotes the development of youth leaders and their involvement in shaping mental health services for young consumers. With support from the Transformation grant, Maryland established the first state chapter of Youth MOVE. Thirteen Maryland counties are participating in implementing Youth MOVE programs.
Reintegration Academies
The Mental Hygiene Administration, continue to support the Maryland Army National Guard Reintegration Academies by providing licensed mental health professionals who are developing and providing presentations for Phase I (30 day) and II (60 day) of the Reintegration. MHA provides ongoing consultation to the MDARNG regarding presentation topics, evaluative methods and is currently assisting in the development of syllabi for all topics in order to ensure consistent information delivery to all returning National Guard Units.

Maryland's Commitment to Veterans

Maryland's Commitment to Veterans is an outreach and referral initiative to ensure that all veterans in Maryland can obtain the behavioral health services they deserve. Originally established to target Iraq and Afghanistan veterans in rural areas, the program was expanded in 2009 to serve all Maryland veterans, regardless of age or geographic location.

Regional Resource Coordinators serve as navigators to prevent veterans from falling through the cracks of the current VA system, and help guide veterans and their families to all available resources. They offer knowledge and assistance in crisis and emergency services,substance abuse services, therapy, issues of homelessness, VA benefits and unemployment Issues.

Visit for more information www.veterans.maryland.gov

RTC Waiver

The RTC Waiver is a program that uses a team-based approach called Wraparound to provide mental health and medical services to youth with intensive mental health needs. The team - including the youth, family members, care coordinators and service providers - develops a plan of care that allows the youth to receive services and supports in the community rather than in a residential treatment center. The plan of care and services are individualized to the strengths and needs of each family.

Visit RTC waiver here http://www.medschool.umaryland.edu/innovations/RTC_waiver.asp