Maryland Department of Health Announces $2.4M Grant to Expand Behavior Health Support for Service Members, Veterans

Per the Maryland Department of Health (10.23.23): “The Maryland Department of Health today announced a new funding opportunity for Maryland nonprofits to establish and expand community behavioral health programs for service members, veterans and family members. Selected applicants will be eligible to receive approximately $100,000 through the Sheila E. Hixson Behavioral Health Services Matching Grant Program for Service Members and Veterans.

“Expanding behavioral health services to our military-connected communities is of vital importance to me,” said Maryland Department of Health Secretary Laura Herrera Scott. “Many service members and veterans are trained to be resilient and may be less likely to ask for help, so it is our responsibility to offer providers the information and tools to reach and provide care to these individuals and families.”

More than 389,000 military veterans and 53,000 currently serving on Active Duty, Reserve and National Guard call Maryland home. According to the American Psychological Association, veterans are 1.5 times more likely to die by suicide than nonveteran adults. Veterans also experience higher rates of suicidal ideation and suicide attempts compared to their civilian counterparts.

“While Maryland’s suicide rate for veterans is lower when compared to national figures — thanks in part to our community outreach efforts, crisis support and the Trained Military Assistance Provider program — there is still much more we can and should do,” said Maryland Department of Health Deputy Secretary for Behavioral Health Alyssa Lord. “This funding is an opportunity to build upon existing initiatives and to help our healthcare providers better support our service members and veteran communities through culturally informed and enhanced services.”

The services to be provided by awardees include:

  • Screening for mental health, substance use, or co-occurring disorders

  • Delivery of trauma-informed, culturally competent, client-centered and evidence-based mental health and substance use disorders treatment services including complementary and alternative therapy services (such as art, music and animal-assisted therapies)

  • Case management and care coordination services

  • Certified Peer Recovery Specialist Services

  • Use of telehealth and/or telemedicine services

The total available funding is $2,400,000 from January 1 to June 30, 2024.

The Sheila E. Hixson Behavioral Health Services Matching Grant Program for Service Members and Veterans was established in 2021 via Senate Bill 550 as a competitive matching annualized grant program. This program is being administered by Maryland’s Commitment to Veterans, a unit within the Behavioral Health Administration.

Applications must be submitted by November 6, 2023. Apply through eMMA and learn more at health.maryland.gov/bha/veterans.”

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