What’s Happening

Effective July 1, 2018, the Howard County Mental Health Authority (HCMHA), which has functioned as the local Core Service Agency for the past twenty years, was officially absorbed into the Health Department, Bureau of Behavioral Health, under the newly established Local Behavioral Health Authority. While the structure of the local Core Service Agency (CSA) will change, its functions will remain the same. The CSA will continue to be responsible for planning, developing and managing the state funded public mental health system.

The Behavioral Health Administration (BHA) is pleased to roll out a new multi-media awareness campaign to help combat the stigma associated with SUDs (Substance Use Disorders). Such stigma often prevents people with these disorders from seeking the help they need.

The BHA’s public awareness campaign is focused on reducing the stigma surrounding addiction that discourages many people with substance use disorders from seeking help. “Less Judgment. More Compassion”– -the campaign’s tagline– – stresses the need to view opioid addiction as a disease to be treated rather than a moral failing to be judged.

The campaign features three different television public service announcements (both 15 and 30-second spots) that are currently running; movie advertising in theaters throughout the State; radio spots; geo-targeted messages on mobile devices; and print and billboard advertisements in select counties.

Below are links to all campaign public service announcements.

MDH Spot: Stigma Meds 30


MDH Spot: Stigma Meds 15


MDH Spot: Stigma BB 30


MDH Spot: Stigma BB 15


MDH Spot: Stigma Distorted Reality 30


MDH Spot: Stigma Distorted Reality 15


The Behavioral Health Administration (BHA) is pleased to roll out a new public awareness campaign encouraging patients to talk to their doctors when being prescribed an opioid medication for pain.

 The multi-media campaign stresses the importance of speaking candidly with your physician when being prescribed an opioid pain medication, since these medications can be highly addictive.  The campaign’s proactive message is: Take charge of your health. Reduce your risk of addiction. Talk to your doctor about opioid pain medications.”

 The campaign includes three different Public Service Announcements for television which have already begun to air, radio commercials, cinema advertising in theaters throughout the State, geo-targeted messages on mobile devices, and print advertisements and billboards in select counties.

 All campaign materials will drive people to the campaign’s website: www.talktoyourdoctor.org  where a series of questions and answers can help them to navigate the conversation. A training video located on the website also encourages patients to speak up, ask questions, and express concerns to their doctors when being prescribed an opioid pain medication.

 Below are links to the campaign materials: 

 MDH Spot: Talk to Your Doctor GP 30


 MDH Spot: Talk to Your Doctor GP 15


 MDH Spot: Talk to Your Doctor ER 30


 MDH Spot: Talk to Your Doctor ER 15


 MDH Spot: Talk to Your Doctor Clinic 30


 MDH Spot: Talk to Your Doctor Clinic 15


Please watch and share this new opioid awareness/prevention PSA from HCHD

Due to recent changes in federal laws, physician assistants and nurse practitioners are now able to obtain DATA-2000 waivers to provide MAT services.

Click the link below for a free, online MAT waiver course being offered through SAMHSA:

Nurse Practitioner and Physician Assistant MAT Waiver Online Course

 If you have any questions or would like to be added to the distribution list, please email  MAT-PDOA-TA@jbsinternational.com

The Howard County Autism Society is seeking a contractual Social Worker to play a broad role in supporting children and youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and their families.  For more information, click here.

Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) Health Center Toolkit

HRSA collaborated with federal partners and Futures Without Violence to conduct a two-year pilot study with 10 health centers and their social service partners on identifying strategies to address IPV in the primary care setting. These efforts led to the creation of a virtual toolkit on integrating IPV education into health centers. Through five essential steps, health centers and social service partners can build partnerships, adopt evidence-based interventions, promote patient education around IPV, and enhance practice policies, procedures, and capacities to improve long-term health and safety outcomes for women and their families.

Suicide Prevention Smart Phone App for Maryland

The “There is Hope” app provides fast and easy access to crisis intervention and suicide prevention support.  We are here to provide the next steps for someone struggling with taking their life or for those concerned about suicidal thoughts in others.  This app will help determine the steps needed to save your or someone else’s life.

You’ll find lots of valuable information including: safety planning, warning signs, risk factors, tips on how to talk to someone who is suicidal, info about trainings to increase suicide prevention skills, and more.

Features also include an immediate connection to crisis counselors who will deliver help and hope for preventing suicide.

Currently available in the Apple Appstore and Android Google Play. Download Now! #Life Matters

Transitional-Age Youth Program (TAY)

HCMHA, in collaboration with Humanim, have designed this program to serve young adults between the ages of 18 to 24 who have received services funded by the Maryland Public Mental Health System. The program is designed to provide ongoing flexible supports to transition-age youth so that they can successfully transition to adulthood. Contact the Howard County Mental Health Authority at 410-313-7350 regarding the referral process.

Maryland Early Intervention Program (EIP)

The Maryland Early Intervention Program (EIP) is being established at the University of Maryland, School of Medicine (UMSOM) to provide early identification, evaluation, and comprehensive psychiatric treatment to adolescents and young adults with psychotic disorders. Recent advances in mental illness science support a paradigm shift from the treatment of individuals with an already established illness to early detection and intervention of people who are at high risk for the development of a psychotic illness or are in the initial stages of such an illness. The goal of this new approach is to alter the course of illness, reduce disability, and maximize the likelihood of recovery. For more information about EIP visit marylandeip.com, call 1-877-277-MEIP, or email info@Maryland EIP.com.  Click here for a flier for consumers and family members and click here for a flier for Providers.

The Latest Update to Suicide Safe

SAMHSA has released an updated version of Suicide Safe, the award-winning mobile app that helps providers integrate suicide prevention strategies into their practice and address suicide risk among their patients. Download the latest version today!

Explore a new case study. Learn about Rena, a 34-year-old Native American woman with a history of sexual abuse and substance use.

Access a new video resource for clinicians. Addressing Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors in Substance Abuse Treatment provides guidance to counselors who work with persons in need of suicide assessment or intervention.

View a new video resource for patients. Stories of Hope and Recovery: A Video Guide for Suicide Attempt Survivors features inspiring stories from suicide-attempt survivors.

Enhanced Features

View Suicide Safe in larger default font in iPhone® and Android™ versions of the app, with an option to further increase text size, as needed.