public policy goals

The Mental Health Association of Maryland’s Public Policy staff works with the Maryland legislature, members of Congress, other government officials, and other stakeholders including consumers, family members, mental health professionals and other advocates to affect laws and policies at the State and Federal level.

MHAMD advocates for

Service Access

  • access to high-quality, culturally competent mental health services provided in the least restrictive environment, that promote recovery, resilliency and best practices in care for all individuals, regardless of insurance status
  • maintain existing funding for public mental health services
  • ensure full implementation of the federal mental health parity law and equitable treatment of mental health as health care reform is implemented
  • increase diversion of adults and youth with mental illnesses from the criminal justice system, improved access to treatment for incarcerated individuals and access to aftercare services and medication upon community reentry
  • develop a statewide, comprehensive 24/7 mental health crisis response system
  • improve coordination and treatment for individuals with co-occurring mental illnesses and substance use disorders
  • expand affordable, suitable housing options
  • establish policies to improve service access for underserved populations that preserve consumer choice

Consumer Empowerment

  • establish violence - and coercion-free environments and policies to reduce and ultimately eliminate the use of seclusion and restraint
  • ensure full implementation of consumer self-directed care models and Wellness Recovery Action Plans (WRAP)
  • increase education and employment opportunities

Children and Youth

  • develop a comprehensive, coordinated and effective statewide system of care for children and youth with mental health needs that takes into account the developmental ages and needs of children, and includes services for transition-aged youth
  • increase availability of school mental health services
  • establish policies that prevent families from being forced to relinquish custody of their children to obtain care


  • improve access to and coordination of culturally competent care for veterans and their families, regardless of home jurisdiction or reason for discharge from military

Older Adults

  • establish policies to support the medical and functional needs of people in psychiatric rehabilitation and residential programs so they may "age in place"
  • maintain adequate funding for cost-saving senior support services that prevent premature institutionalization
  • enhance the mental health service package available to recipients of the Medicaid Waiver for Older Adults


Visit the Legislative page to view our weekly updates from the 2012 Maryland

General Assembly.


Join our Legislative Network to receive updates via email.


Federal Mental Health Parity

  • Click here to view a fact sheet prepared by Mental Health America
  • Click here to view a statement from Mental Health America regarding the federal regulations
  • Click here to view a fact sheet prepared by the agencies who issued federal regulations

For information please contact:

For aging specific inquires:

  • Kim Burton
  • Director of Older Adult Programs
  • 410-235-1178 ext. 210

For parity specific inquires:

  • Adrienne Ellis
  • Director of the Maryland Parity Project
  • 410-235-1178 ext. 206