We seek a state of successful functioning for all people, with productive activities, fulfilling relationships with others, the ability to adapt to change, the resiliency to cope with challenges, and freedom from all illegal substances and their effects.
The Provider Council which reports to the Behavioral Health Advisory Council of Carroll County also serves as our Behavioral Health Leadership Team. This group focuses on issues of mental health and substance abuse. The Team is striving to decrease abuse of prescription pain medications, and reduce tobacco use. Also, members and partners are working to promote and enrich local mental health services so that residents have alternatives to using the hospital’s Emergency Department for behavioral health issues.
Partnership Staff Contacts:
The Behavioral Health Leadership Team (Provider Council) meets regularly and community participation is welcomed. Meeting times and locations may vary. To attend, please get details from a staff contact person.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Resource Directory
In FY 2012-2013, The Partnership updated its Substance Abuse Resource Directory and expanded it with information on mental health resources. Information is included on topics such as guiding principles for prevention and recovery, insurance information, listings of treatment and prevention programs, and contact information for programs that provide general support such as clothing, shelter, education, and transportation.
Representatives from several area agencies formed the committee that updated this Directory, which is in its 4th edition. Funding to produce the Directory was provided by the Bureau of Prevention, Wellness, and Recovery of the Carroll County Health Department.
Copies of the 2012-2013 edition of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Resource Directory for Carroll County can be downloaded HERE at no cost.
Carroll County Behavioral Health Advisory Council Newsletter
The Carroll County Behavioral Health Advisory Council (BHAC) distributes a twice-quarterly newsletter called Keeping in Touch. It is sent electronically to BHAC members and also posted on this web site. The newsletter keeps members informed about local events and local, regional, and national developments related to behavioral health (mental health and substance abuse). Contact Kathleen Mack at 410-871-7268 or KMack@CarrollHospitalCenter.org for more information.
Designated Driver Education at Maryland Wine Festival®
Since 2010 The Partnership has joined with two other local organizations to provide and staff a Designated Driver water booth at the Maryland Wine Festival®, which is held annually at the Carroll County Farm Museum. Working together with the Carroll County Health Department Bureau of Prevention, Wellness & Recovery and The Mid-Western Region Traffic Safety Program, the booth distributes free bottled water to attendees with Designated Driver tickets, which are discounted from the regular admission ticket price. The Designated Driver booth also provides safe driving and substance abuse prevention materials for all who attend.
Carroll County Behavioral Health Advisory Council (BHAC)
The BHAC serves as the local mental health advisory council and the local drug and alcohol abuse council. In this role, the BHAC acts as an advocate for a comprehensive and integrated behavioral health system for persons of all ages to meet the identified needs of the general public as well as special populations within the county. The BHAC accomplishes this mission through the use of smaller workgroups organized to improvement opportunities in the county’s behavioral health system including quality of service, gaps in the system and interagency coordination and collaboration. The BHAC meets on a quarterly basis in the months of March, June, September, and December. The meetings are open to the community. For additional information about BHAC call the Carroll County Health Department at 410-876-4800.
The Partnership recognizes that tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke are major risk factors in many of the health improvement areas we seek to impact, including Substance Abuse, Heart Health and Cancer. Tobacco-free living is an important part of a healthy lifestyle.
In 2007 The Partnership established the Smoke-Free Carroll County Coalition to educate the community about the Maryland Clean Indoor Air Act of 2007. From 2007-2012, our Smoke-Free Carroll County web pages were maintained to provide tobacco cessation tips, tools, and links to best-practice resources, as well as information about additional policy advances for tobacco-free living. CLICK HERE to view the archived Smoke-Free Carroll County pages.
The Partnership’s tobacco-free living objectives are in agreement with the work of the Health Department’s Cigarette Restitution Fund Program and the Carroll County Tobacco Coalition.
|OTHER LOCAL BEHAVIORAL HEALTH INITIATIVES
The Partnership currently coordinates a Leadership Teams in Behavioral Health (Mental Health and Substance Abuse). We also encourage other local groups that seek to make improvements in these areas. The initiatives below are examples of programs in our community that provide improved behavioral health services and/or resources for awareness and education.
SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access and Recovery (SOAR)
SOAR is a national initiative for training case managers and other social service workers to allow them to better assist clients in applying for disability benefits through the Social Security Administration. Accessing benefits is often a critical first step in recovery.
Access to these programs can be extremely challenging for many people who are homeless, who have mental health disorders that impair cognition, or who are returning to the community from institutions (jails, prisons or hospitals). Previously, only about 10-15 percent of individuals who are homeless found a way to access these benefits. For those trained in the SOAR application process, approval rates for disability benefits grow to around 70 percent.
The SOAR Planning Committee meets on a quarterly basis and consists of representatives from the Core Service Agency, the local Social Security Administration, Access Carroll, Keystone Services of Maryland, Carroll County Youth Services Bureau, and the Mental Hygiene Administration’s Office of Special Needs Populations. Current data for the Carroll County SOAR initiative reveals that six applications have been submitted via the SOAR process with a 100% approval rating. The average length of time to receive a decision on the application was 98 days.
Proper Disposal of Prescription Drugs / Take-Back Days
Carroll County has had a Prescription Medication Disposal Program in place since 2009. CLICK HERE to view or download the program brochure, which lists the sites with collection bins for medication disposal in Carroll County.
Drugs collected in the bins are safely and properly disposed of.
The Hampstead Police Department participates in national Prescription Drug Take-Back Days. The National Take-Back Initiative is a program of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). Prescription Drug Take-Back Days provide a way to dispose of unwanted prescription drugs, and educate about the potential for abuse of medications. For information about the next Take-Back Day in Hampstead, contact their non-emergency line at 410-239-8954.
National Recovery Month
September marks National Recovery Month. This national awareness initiative promotes the benefits of treatment for substance use and mental disorders, celebrates people in recovery, applauds the contributions of treatment providers, and promotes the message that recovery in all its forms is possible. National Recovery Month spreads the message that behavioral health is essential to overall health. Prevention works, treatment is effective, and people can and do recover. The Champions of Change group (a sub-group of BHAC) is active in efforts to increase awareness of current issues in substance abuse and behavioral health, and promote access to resources in Carroll County.
The Carroll County Health Department coordinates local treatment and recovery services and local Recovery Month activities. Contact the Bureau of Addiction Treatment Services at the Carroll County Health Department by calling 410-876-4800.
Coalition Against Underage Drinking
Maryland Strategic Prevention Framework (MSPF) grant was awarded to the Carroll County Health Department from the Federal Government. Its goals are to:
- Prevent the onset and reduce the progress of underage drinking.
- Build prevention strategies at the community level.
- Partner with an established non-profit organizations to increase awareness within the community.
The Carroll County Coalition Against Underage Drinking is seeking members now. Who can help? Parents, students, educators, church leaders, civic groups, youth organizations, local government agencies, law enforcement, businesses, health organizations and concerned citizens.
To join local efforts against teen drinking, please contact the MSPF Coordinator, Carol Mullen, at 410-876-4802 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, visit the Coalition’s web site HERE.
Mental Health First Aid
In a collaborative partnership with Carroll Community College, the Carroll County Health Department has developed Mental Health First Aid training to be offered free of charge to community members. Mental Health First Aid is an 8-hour course that helps participants identify someone experiencing a mental health crisis or the early stages of a mental health disorder. The training explains the most common mental health problems, where and when to get help, and what type of help has been shown to be effective. Our goal is to have Carroll County recognized as a community that values Mental Health First Aid and is adequately prepared to implement it.
Dates, location and registration information for local Mental Health First Aid courses can be found under Healthy Events when available.
The Partnership annually recognizes the outstanding achievements of groups and individuals who make our community of Carroll County a healthier place to live. If you know of person or organization deserving recognition, please consider nominating them for one of our Awards. CLICK HERE to learn more or submit a nomination.