January 27, 2021

The latest on mental health in Howard County

Mental health matters! Here are a few highlights from this past year where we have supported the mental health needs in our community.

We’ve shown that mental health matters for…


Frontline workers
In July, we hosted a free webinar attended by over 400 people about supporting and providing for a group hit especially hard by the added challenges brought on by COVID-19: our front-line workforce, including healthcare workers, first responders, pharmacy and grocery-store staff and other vital employees. The forum featured three survivors who spoke about their personal experiences of living and moving through trauma, as well as two local clinicians who provided advice on how to process and navigate through traumatic experiences.
Read more about the trauma series and featured speakers>>

Residents needing crisis support
We helped win $45 million in funding from Health Services Cost Review Commission (HSCRC) for regional behavioral health crisis services in Howard County, Baltimore County, Carroll County and Baltimore City. This funding will create a hotline and call center to triage crisis calls, and will expand same day access to crisis care. This comprehensive model will greatly increase services for residents and will provide alternatives to visiting the emergency department and for law enforcement to respond to mental health-related calls.
Learn more about the The Greater Baltimore Regional Integrated Crisis System (GBRICS) Partnership>>

Patients and families
Just 16 percent of pediatricians feel they have enough time to address family psychosocial problems – despite the fact that about half of their visits involve a behavioral, psychosocial and/or educational concern. The Foundation helped launch the Howard County Pediatric Behavioral Health Integration program, which aims to embed behavioral health consultants (BHCs) into pediatric practices and make these services more accessible to patients and families. The Foundation’s initial funding will support the hiring and onboarding of two BHCs for Ellicott City Pediatrics and The Pediatric Center, supporting 14 pediatricians and giving nearly 15,000 patients and families greater access to mental health services.

mental health outreach grantees group photoStudents
School systems have a major opportunity to support students’ mental health. In fact, more than 70 percent of students receiving mental health services access them in the school setting. Lack of access to mental health services has prevented many students and their families from finding the support they need. Last spring, 240 people and 57 organizations advocated for and secured funding for school-based mental health services last spring. These services are currently in 30 schools across the county. The Foundation also provided HCPSS with an additional $250,000 to further expand the school based mental health program in the coming school year.
Learn more about the school-based mental health program>>

Everyone who wants to help!
In today’s digital space, it’s more important than ever to stay connected to our friends, loved ones, and community – especially as we are all dealing with anxiety, grief and isolation due to COVID-19. Emotional Support Humans show a willingness to reach out and listen compassionately to loved ones living with mental health challenges. Since the re-launch of our Emotional Support Humans campaign, as of today, we have close to 40,000 views of our videos, and we have seen over 2.2 million ad impressions to date. (FYI, an ad impression is how many times an ad is viewed.)
Watch one of our ads>>
Be an Emotional Support Human>>


Show that mental health matters to you!

At a time when COVID-19 has brought significant disruptions and changes to our children’s lives, we must ensure every Howard County student has the opportunity to access mental health services if they need them – especially as we prepare for in-person instruction to resume. That’s why we need additional funding from the County in order to bring expanded mental health services to every public school in Howard County.

Sign our petition to bring enhanced mental health supports to YOUR kids’ school!

We want every child in Howard County to have all the tools they need to thrive inside and outside of the classroom. Together we can demand that these enhanced supports be available in all Howard County Public Schools.
Sign the petition now>>