Frederick Masters Improvisation to Address Mental Health Crisis

County officials piece together 5 different funding sources to transform an existing county-owned building into a new behavioral health facility focusing on crisis stabilization in Frederick County. 

According to a press release from the Office of County Executive Jan Gardener, 20% of emergency room visits to Fredrick Health Hospital are due to a behavioral health issue. A hope is to divert some of this hospital traffic to the center where care can be provided for individuals experiencing a behavioral health emergency as well as connect patients to ongoing community-based care. The facility will be operated by the Mental Health Association of Frederick County under the direction of the Frederick County Health Dept.

From the press release,

Funding to start the center comes from two federal grants totaling over $1.5 million, a $1 million grant from the State of Maryland, and $850,000 from Frederick County’s American Rescue Plan allocation. Ongoing costs will be funded in part from payments opioid manufacturers will make as part of legal settlements. Frederick County’s share of the settlements is $11.2 million paid out over 18 years.

Two crisis hotlines (221 and 988) will be referring patients to the facility as well as first responders, law enforcement, mobile crisis response teams, community providers, and families of those who are in crisis. “We know a crisis stabilization center will save lives,” Executive Gardner said. “By providing this much-needed service, residents will be able to receive the full continuum of care without leaving Frederick County.”