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DHMH : Task Force to Improve Continuity of Care for Individuals w Serious Mental Illness

Department to Convene Expert Panel to Improve Continuity of Care for Individuals with Serious Mental Illness

Effective treatments for serious mental illness can reduce the morbidity associated with mental illness and help individuals live healthier and more fulfilling lives.  However, studies have demonstrated that interruptions in treatment can delay recovery and are associated with poorer health outcomes and hospitalization.  In rare instances, untreated mental illness can also contribute to dangerous behavior.

At the direction of Governor O’Malley, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is convening a seven-member expert panel to explore ways to enhance continuity of care for individuals with serious mental illness. 

Dr. Gayle Jordan-Randolph, Deputy Secretary for Behavioral Health and Disabilities, will chair the panel.  Dr. Jordan-Randolph is a clinically trained child psychiatrist, adult psychiatrist, and forensic psychiatrist and has extensive experience in Maryland’s behavioral health system.

The advisory panel will examine barriers to continuity of care and make recommendations to strengthen the existing mental health service delivery system, improve health outcomes, and address deficiencies that lead to interruptions of care.  Members of the expert panel will include individuals with expertise in:

·         Community and inpatient mental health and substance abuse treatment

·         Forensic and court-involvement issues

·         Legal and guardianship proceedings

·         Academic and policy development

The advisory panel will hold four public meetings to discuss the following topics: legal and regulatory barriers; treatment-related barriers; research and evidence-based practices to improve continuity of care; and communications, cultural, and demographic barriers.  

Members of the public - including providers, consumers, and advocates - will have the opportunity to submit research, reports and statements for the advisory panel’s review and consideration.  Public input will help inform the panel’s recommendations.

 


Toll Free 1-877-4MD-DHMH – TTY/Maryland Relay Service 1-800-735-2258

Web Site:  www.dhmh.state.md.us

The Department will be accepting nominations for the advisory panel from Monday, April 15, 2013 through Monday, May 13, 2013.  Applicants should send a resume and statement of interest to:

Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

ATTN: Rianna Brown

Chief of Staff for Behavioral Health and Disabilities

201 W. Preston St.

Baltimore, Maryland 21201

rianna.brown@maryland.gov

The Department will announce appointments to the Continuity of Care Advisory Panel on Friday, May 10, 2013.  The panel will begin holding meetings in the summer and recommendations will be released in November 2013.