NAMI Metropolitan Baltimore’s grassroots advocacy leaders educate legislators and influence policy-making decisions that better the lives of those affected by behavioral health issues. NAMI Metropolitan Baltimore works collaboratively with NAMI, NAMI Maryland, and Maryland Behavioral Health Coalition partners.
Behavioral Health Coalition Platform 2017
Increasing Access to Care by Passing the Keep the Door Open Act to ensure a robust behavioral health workforce.
Community behavioral health providers administer traditional outpatient services, mobile treatment, crisis services, withdrawal management, rehabilitation, residential treatment, partial hospitalization programs and housing. They divert hospital and emergency room admissions, detention center admissions, help people experiencing homelessness get permanent housing and unemployed people get jobs. Many vulnerable Marylanders depend on these dedicated health care providers. Wages for these critical service providers simply have not kept up with the cost of living.
Ensure that more Marylanders can access crisis services by addressing coverage barriers for those with commercial health insurance
Without access to crisis care, many Marylanders who would be more appropriately served by a community behavioral health provider end up in hospital emergency departments. Commercial health insurance carriers should be required to reimburse for medically-necessary crisis care, which can better meet consumer needs in a more cost effective manner.
Create new long-term funding in the state budget for additional treatment resources to combat Maryland’s opioid epidemic
Despite growing awareness of the opioid crisis, overdoses and deaths continue to increase. Meanwhile, the percentage of healthcare funding spent on behavioral health services in Maryland, which includes substance use disorder treatment, has decreased. We must identify new funding streams and additional resources to reach Marylanders who are caught in this terrible epidemic.
There are many ways to get involved in NAMI Metropolitan Baltimore’s advocacy efforts:
- Attend Advocacy Day: NAMI Maryland Advocacy Day is Tuesday, February 28th. Advocates meet with legislators at the start of the legislative session. Share your personal stories and discuss mental health policies with elected officials. Register to attend.
- Contact Your Legislator: Find your state and national legislative representatives.