The mission of the Howard County Mental Health Authority is to ensure the availability of quality mental health services and provide leadership in the county on mental health issues through education, prevention, community and interagency partnerships to better serve the broader community.
There will be a comprehensive and accessible array of services to assist individuals in achieving recovery and developing resilience and reaching the highest level of participation as productive and contributing citizens in community life.
Basic Personal Rights:
Individuals receiving mental health services have the same rights and responsibilities as any citizen. They have the right to have control over their own lives, the right to sufficient information to make an informed choice regarding services provided without duress or coercion, the right to a mutually respectful relationship with those providing services and the right to question the practice of providers as it relates to their own care. Individuals have the right to the opportunity for community integration in the fullest sense of the word.
The mental health system must be responsive, accessible, reliable, and provide adequate resources to address the needs of those it serves including those children and adults who do not speak English. The system should assure that quality services are provided and that the system has clearly defined outcome measures that assure accountability to the consumer and the funding source. The system should be proactive, provide services in the least restrictive setting, and be sensitive to the diverse and changing needs of those served.
Individuals receiving services must be involved in the decision-making process on both the personal level and the systemic level. An array of services that promote recovery and resiliency should be available. Individuals should be educated to advocate on a personal level and to assist other consumers in the area of advocacy.
The mental health system must provide public education and trainings regarding mental health to combat discrimination. Community education should also focus on educating the public regarding early identification and how to access treatment and rehabilitation services. Attention should also be focused on prevention activities.
Family and Community Support:
The mental health system must provide family members with education, support, and information regarding resources. Services must be consumer driven and guided by consumers, family members and the community.
Management and Accountability:
The mental health system must be well managed and fiscally responsible. Providers receiving mental health funds should be monitored and held accountable through well-defined outcome measures. Efforts should be made to measure the consumer’s satisfaction with services received. Grievance policies and procedures must be maintained for the use of consumers and family members, as well as providers.
Participation in Community Life:
Individuals served by the mental health system should receive services and supports that assist them in participation in the life of the community including a social network, housing and employment that is not contingent on participation in a specific program.
The mental health system should work collaboratively with other county agencies, local government leadership, and private providers to assure that there is a comprehensive system of care for individuals to achieve recovery and develop resiliency. The mental health authority should function as the central point for information on mental health resources within its jurisdiction.
The behavioral health system is inclusive of both mental health and addictions services. Every effort will be made to collaborate to address the needs of individuals served by the publicly funded behavioral health system.