Maryland’s Commitment to Veterans (MCV)
MCV Accomplishments (2007-2013):
• 2008 – Governor O’Malley approves Chapter 555, following House of Delegates and Senate discussion and amendments. The Act allows for a three year initiative establishing behavioral health coordinator through, Maryland’s Commitment to Veterans. The law took effect on June 1, 2008 and was to remain in place for three years – until May 31, 2011.
• 2011- Governor O’Malley approves Chapter 81 that codifies MCV into law with no sunset.
• Since October 2008 (program inception) to June 2013 MCV has assisted 5,570 veterans and their families
• MCV assists veterans and their families with coordinating behavioral health services, including mental health and substance abuse services- either with the VA Maryland Health Care System or Maryland’s public health system. Facilitates and covers transportation costs to behavioral health appointments. Provides information and referrals related to VA benefits, employment, education, and housing. Provides outreach to educate veterans, residents, and community groups about MCV.
• 1-877-770-4801 calls accepted 24 hours a day, 7 days a week; the caller is connected to a Regional Resource Coordinator (RRC). When a veteran or family member is linked to an RRC, they will always speak to the same person building a relationship that creates the opportunity to link them to community resources which can best meet their needs.
FY 2013 MCV accomplishments:
· Managed 1497 calls from veterans and their families
· Top call needs: 19.89% Housing, 19.5% VA Benefits, Info/Ref 16.1%, Behavioral Health 13.18% (9.98% MH, 3.2% SA)
· 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 – MCV coordinates monthly conference calls to share challenges RRCs are experiencing with veterans accessing behavioral health services through the VA. VISN 5 shares veteran stats and responds to challenges
· MOU with UMD School of Public Health:
o The Maryland Veterans Resilience Initiative (MaVRI) Advisory Council appointed 26 leaders from federal and state government, military medical and behavioral health centers, veterans support organizations, colleges/universities, non-profit veteran behavioral health networks, the faith community, and veterans and family members.
o Fall 2012 nearly 3,300 behavioral health and primary care providers completed an online needs assessment survey; analyzed data to plan targeted provider trainings in 2013 and 2014.
oMaVRI held its first training for behavioral health providers on March 22, 2013; the University of Maryland, College Park the primary site with Harford Community College and Hagerstown Community College serving as distance education sites. Each site had a veteran and family member panel.
o 416 attendees; 61% respondents advanced at least one level.
§ Conference Topics/Speakers: Military Culture and Impacts of Deployment; Child and Family Relationship Issues – Dr. Stephen Cozza (Center for Traumatic Stress)PTSD/TBI and Mental Health Co-morbidities; Sleep Disorders and Women Veterans’ Health – Dr. Laura Herrera (DHMH)
o University and college Counseling Center staff training, co-sponsored by MaVRI and delivered by the Center for Deployment Psychology and the University of Maryland, College Park, held January 18, 2013. More than 100 counseling center staff and professionals working with student veterans attended
o MaVRI peer facilitators are working to build student veteran organizations and peer support activities at Howard Community College and the University of Maryland, Baltimore. With their assistance, Howard Community College increased membership in its student veteran organization from one member to over 20 members in three months.