Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman announced new partnerships and initiatives to tackle mental health issues in the county. This announcement comes on the heels of a report released last month by the county’s Behavioral Health Task Force that examined the county’s mental health services and offered recommendations for areas that need improvement. As reported in The Baltimore Sun:
Kittleman said he was following up on the report’s recommendations with three new initiatives, which will be funded in the operating budget for fiscal year 2016:
• Hiring a behavioral specialist for the county Health Department’s Community Care Teams, which work alongside Howard County General Hospital to treat people who are hospitalized frequently;
• Creating a pilot program with the hospital and Way Station, a Columbia-based mental health nonprofit, to offer outpatient crisis stabilization services for patients within one to two days of a hospital visit; and
• Updating the Howard County Mental Health Authority’s online provider directory to correct provider information.
The Horizon Foundation, a public health nonprofit that awards grants to local organizations, is contributing $50,000 to the mental health initiative, according to a county press release.