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    Special Populations (Specialized Behavioral Health Services Unit)​

    ​​​The Specialized Behavioral Health Services Unit is responsible for developing, monitoring and coordinating services for individuals 18 years of age and throughout the life span with mental health conditions or co-occurring substance-related disorders who have special needs.  Populations include individuals who are homeless, deaf or hard of hearing, incarcerated in local detention centers and/or trauma survivors.  In addition, the unit oversees specialized programs developed with state, federal, and local funding targeted to special populations.

    Maryland Community Criminal Justice Treatment Program (MCCJTP): MCCJTP is operational in all Maryland jurisdictions except Montgomery County and Baltimore City, assisting local detention centers in meeting the comprehensive needs of justice-involved individuals.  In collaboration with the Core Service Agencies (CSAs), the program delivers both clinical treatment and case management services reaching an average of 10,000 individuals annually. Each participating jurisdiction works in partnership with experts from agencies that provide behavioral health services, case management, and legal counsel services.  In addition, input is sought from representatives from the detention centers, judiciary, parole and probation, law enforcement, social services, consumer advocates, and community.  For more information please contact the program coordinator, at 410-402-8482 
    Datalink: A partnership between the DHMH/BHA, DHMH’s Office of Health Services, the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services (DPSCS), ASO/ Value Options® Maryland, CSAs and the local detention centers.  The purpose of Datalink is to promote the continuity of treatment for individuals with serious mental illness who are detained in the detention center.  Value Options® Maryland, the ASO for (BHA), receives a daily file from DPSCS of all individuals that have been: detained and processed at local detention centers in the past 24 hour period; incarcerated at one of the State correctional facilities; or remanded to the Department of Parole and Probation.  The data is compared against Medicaid eligibility data, utilizing agreed upon data points to identify a detainee as a “match.”  Once a match is identified, the process looks for mental health authorizations and paid Medicaid pharmacy claims within the past calendar year.  This information is then electronically returned to DPSCS and uploaded into their Electronic Health Record system where it can be viewed by authorized detention center medical staff.  Detention center medical staff utilizes this data to address the detainees medical and mental health needs. Simultaneously, the data is also shared with the local CSA who may assist in providing coordinated care for the individual while detained and upon release. For more information, contact Marian Bland at (410) 402-8300 or marian.bland@maryland.gov.
    Crisis Intervention Team (CIT): CIT is a training program developed to help police confront behavioral health emergencies in which a person poses, or appears to pose, a danger to themselves or others. The local CSAs receive funding from BHA to develop teams in collaboration with local law enforcement in their communities using best practices. In addition to training, CIT is built on strong partnership between law enforcement, behavioral health provider agencies, and individuals and families affected by behavioral health conditions. The ultimate goal of CIT is diversion from the criminal justice system.  For more information, contact Marian Bland at (410) 402-8300 or marian.bland@maryland.gov.
    Crisis Response Services: These services are critical to addressing crisis in the community in a coherent and coordinated manner.  Crisis response systems collaborate and partner with local law enforcement agencies to ensure those with behavioral health needs receive appropriate levels of treatment rather than incarceration in local jails and/or prevent other negative and traumatic outcomes.  Maryland’s Crisis Response Continuum includes 24/7 clinical crisis phone line/hotline, walk-in crisis services, mobile crisis teams, police-based crisis intervention teams, urgent care clinics, emergency department psychiatric services, 23 hour holding bed, crisis residential beds, Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) teams, case management, and court-based diversion.  For more information, contact Marian Bland at (410) 402-8300 or marian.bland@maryland.gov.

    Continuum of Care Programs: The Continuum of Care Programs provides tenant and sponsor-based rental assistance to homeless individuals and families with an adult member who has a serious mental illness or co-occurring substance-related disorder in 20 jurisdictions in Maryland. Fifty percent of the units subsidized are targeted to individuals recently released from incarceration and were homeless prior to incarceration and are currently homeless. Individuals and families are also provided with supportive services through Public Behavioral Health providers and other state or local agencies. For more information please contact the program director, Keenan Jones at 410-402-8350 
    Trauma, Addictions, Mental Health and Recovery Program (TAMAR): TAMAR, the State’s trauma education project, has existed for more than 12 years providing services to individuals 18 and older who are detained in participating detention centers. Individuals with a history of abuse, a recent treatment history for a mental health condition or a substance-related disorder are eligible for participation. The TAMAR education program in nine detention centers and one state hospital reaches nearly 500 consumers annually. In addition to treatment in the detention center, four of the eight jurisdictions provide trauma treatment to inmates re-entering the community. For more information please contact Darren McGregor at 410-402-8467 or darren.mcgregor@maryland.gov
    Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness (PATH): Maryland's PATH program was developed in 1991.  PATH is a federal formula grant from the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA) Center for Mental Health Services.  PATH provides flexible community and detention center-based services to individuals who are homeless and have a mental health condition. Services include screening and assessments, rehabilitation and habilitation services, case management linkage to housing, referrals to primary health and mental health services, employment and education services, housing assistance, security deposits, one-time only funds to prevent eviction, and SSI/SSDI, Outreach, Access and Recovery (SOAR).    PATH services are funded in Baltimore City and all counties in Maryland.   For more information, contact the program director, Keenan Jones at 410-402-8353 
    Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services: Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services oversees services and contracts that offer Public Behavioral Health services to individuals who have a mental health condition, co-occurring substance-related disorder and mental health condition, or substance-related disorder. In addition, it provides technical assistance to CSAs, providers, consumers and advocates; and participates on several committees and advisory boards related to enhancing services to individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or deaf-blind.
    Services to individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing are provided either through the Public Behavioral Health System based on the consumer meeting medical necessity criteria for Public Behavioral Health services or through specialized programs funded through state grants to local CSAs, health departments, or a designated provider. Limited funding is also available through the CSAs and health departments to pay the cost for an interpreter in order for PBHS-eligible individuals to access outpatient behavioral health services. Approval for interpreting services funding may be accessed through the local CSAs for mental health conditions or mental health conditions co-occurring with a substance-related disorders and the local health departments for substance-related disorders prior to service delivery.  BHA also operates a separate unit at Springfield Hospital Center which provides a full array of inpatient services to adults who are deaf or hard of hearing. The unit employs a complement of deaf behavioral health professionals who are fluent in American Sign Language or other visual communication services.    

    Specialized Deaf Programs (through State or Federal funding)
    • Arundel Lodge is a nonprofit agency that employs licensed mental health professionals proficient in American Sign Language and provides outpatient behavioral health services, residential rehabilitation services, and psychiatric rehabilitation services in Anne Arundel County.  This agency also provides outpatient mental health services for the Eastern Shore Counties through a tele-mental health project with Mid-Shore Mental Health Systems, Inc.
    • The Community Support Services for the Deaf is a nonprofit organization that provides services for deaf individuals who have a mental illness or co-occurring substance use disorders.  The program provides support for individuals using signing staff in the psychiatric rehabilitation program, residential programs, a senior day program and onsite psychotherapeutic services.
    • People Encouraging People, Inc. is a nonprofit agency that operates a specialized deaf program.  Grant-funded sign language staff provide outpatient mental health treatment, psychiatric rehabilitation, residential rehabilitation, and supported employment services in Baltimore City.
    • Family Services Foundation is a nonprofit agency that provides outpatient mental health treatment services through a licensed mental health professional proficient in American Sign Language, psychiatric rehabilitation services, and residential rehabilitation services.
    • University of Maryland, Deaf Addiction Services at Maryland (DASAM) is a nonprofit agency that provides statewide addiction treatment services to adults who are deaf or hard of hearing.  
    How to access deaf services?
    Medicaid funded services for individuals who have mental health conditions or co-occurring substance-related disorders and mental health conditions may be accessed through the ASO at 1-800-888-1965 or https://www.beaconhealthoptions.com/​​

    Mental Health & Rehabilitation Services directory

    Behavioral Health Disaster Services: Behavioral Health Disaster Services have the responsibility for coordinating the delivery of community behavioral health services in response to natural and man-made disasters in partnership with the local CSAs. The goal is to establish a synchronized, comprehensive, integrated, inclusive and coordinated plan to respond to environmental and man-made disasters in Maryland.  The purpose of planning is to minimize the adverse effects of traumatic events affecting all individuals in Maryland communities.
    The Plan identifies necessary administrative and clinical activities, supports, and resources that can be mobilized quickly when a disaster occurs. It is well recognized that disaster services require rapid, integrated, flexible, collegial and collaborative responses.  To that end, the Plan concentrates on four areas of activities: (1) Mitigation; (2) Preparedness; (3) Response; and (4) Recovery.  For each activity the responsibilities of the BHA Executive Director, BHA Facilities Directors, CSAs, and local health departments are addressed. Where appropriate, other partner responsibilities are delineated.  For more information, contact Unit Director Darren McGregor at (410) 402-8467; darren.mcgregor@maryland.gov or Marian Bland at 410-402-8300; marian.bland@maryland.gov.
    Chrysalis House Healthy Start Program: Chrysalis House Healthy Start is a program developed for pregnant women who are incarcerated or at risk of incarceration in local detention centers and the Maryland Correctional Institute for Women (MCIW). The Chrysalis House Healthy Start Program is funded with State dollars and a small PATH grant. This holistic program aims to provide appropriate treatment and mother/child interventions to women with mental health conditions, substance-related disorders, and disorders stemming from traumatic experiences. The program provides services at a 16-bed residential/transitional facility during the pregnancy and for up to one year post delivery. The Office of Adult and Specialized Behavioral Health Services continues to provide oversight and technical assistance for this program. For more information, contact the Unit Director Darren McGregor at (410) 402-8467 or darren.mcgregor@maryland.gov.
    SOAR:  Maryland’s SOAR initiative aims to increase access to the disability income benefit programs administered by the Social Security Administration for eligible adults who are homeless or who are at risk of homelessness and have a mental health condition and/or a co-occurring substance-related disorder. Currently, there are active SOAR programs in the following jurisdictions: Allegany, Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Cecil, Charles, Frederick, Garrett, Harford, Howard, Montgomery, Prince George’s, St. Mary’s, Somerset, Washington, Worcester, and Wicomico counties, and Baltimore City.  For more information about the initiative, including contact information for the SOAR Local Leads, contact the program director, Caroline Bolas at (410) 402-8344 or caroline.bolas@maryland.gov.
    Homeless Identification Project: Homeless Identification Project is funded through the Alcohol Tax Initiative and is available in Baltimore City and all counties throughout Maryland, and is administered through lead CSAs of Baltimore City, Anne Arundel, Frederick, Howard, Montgomery, Washington and Worcester counties. The purpose of the project is to provide funds to pay the cost of a Maryland identification card and/or birth certificate in order for individuals who have a mental illness or co-occurring substance-related disorders and are homeless or imminent risk of homelessness to access community resources.
    This project also provides funds for IDs for minor children in the care of a qualifying adult, that meets the homeless and disability criteria and unaccompanied homeless youth ages 14 and over. By having these two very important documents, access to housing, healthcare, entitlements and other resources in the community can be gained.  In addition to IDs and birth certificates, five SOAR dedicated case management positions are funded. The SOAR case management positions are a very important asset to the Homeless ID Project because these positions also assist individuals with accessing financial benefits allowing them to gain stability in the community. For more information, contact the project coordinator, Sherry Boyd at (410) 402-8354 or sherry.boyd@maryland.gov
    Access to Services:
    For addition information on Specialized Behavioral Health Services, contact Unit Director Darren McGregor at 410 402 8467 or Darren.mcgregor@maryland.gov

    Darren McGregor, Chief of Special Populations
    410 402 8467