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    MCV Legislation:

    May 22, 2008:  Governor O’Malley approves Chapter 555, following Maryland House of Delegates and Senate discussion and amendments. The Act will allow for three-year initiative establishing behavioral health service coordination will take effect on June 1, 2008 and remain in place for a period of three years until May 31, 2011.

    July 1, 2011:  Governor O’Malley approves Chapter 81 that codifies MCV into law with no sunset.

    Core Aspects of the law include:

    • Department of Mental Hygiene coordinates behavioral health services for  veterans
    • Where behavioral health services are not available or accessible through the USVA, MCV will provide coordination through Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (Mental Hygiene Administration or Alcohol and Drug Abuse Administration)

    Maryland’s Commitment to Veterans Accomplishments:

    • Since program inception October 2008 to September 2012 Maryland’s Commitment to Veterans (MCV) has managed 4,458 intake calls

    • Types of calls include behavioral health coordination, transportation to behavioral health appointments for veterans as well as information and referral services for VA benefits employment, housing and financial assistance

    • Understanding that Maryland’s veterans are seeking health care locally MCV is working with county health officers, who are reporting veterans receiving services in the public health system and referring them to MCV

    • Entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Veterans Health Administration (VISN 5) to provide outreach to veterans and their families in rural Maryland to increase veteran enrollment in VA services and enhance provision of care

    • Entered into a MOU with UMD School of Public Health that will:
                 1.  Establish a Veterans Resilience Initiative Advisory Council with representatives from state government agencies, military and veteran organizations, nonprofits, behavioral health networks, the faith community, veterans and family members to identify gaps in services, coordinate training across the state, and communicate critical mental health information to veteran families;

                 2.  Conduct an online survey with Maryland primary care and behavioral health professionals to assess training needs and capacity for delivering services that are sensitive to military culture and veterans' needs

                3.   Develop training program for  health professionals and clergy to effectively serve veterans and their families in both urban and rural communities using a combination of in-person and video conferencing

               4.    Develop peer support networks for veterans returning to the community, beginning in community college and university settings.