The Bureau of Behavioral Health is the mental health authority for the administration of state-funded services for people with mental illness residing in Baltimore County and is available to help residents in receiving medication assistance, assist in completing applications for services, and provide resources for mental health services.
The Bureau does not provide direct, clinical services, rather, it accesses local funding from state grants and medical assistance (MA) for its operations, to provide services via contractual arrangement with private, typically nonprofit, mental health agencies.
A Core Service Agency
The Bureau has been designated by the Maryland Behavioral Health Administration as a Core Service Agency (CSA) for the County. The CSA is responsible for:
- The planning, development and monitoring of the public mental health services for County residents
- Overseeing a network of providers offering outpatient clinics, day and residential rehabilitation services, case management, crisis services and a host of specialized programs for various age groups and special populations
- Working in partnership with the Maryland Behavioral Health Administration and Optum, its contracted administrative services organization, to facilitate the access to care for clients and the service authorization and payment to providers. Contact Optum regarding billing for publicly-funded mental health services.
- Identifying or responding to complaints and concerns related to the provision of services
- Working closely with County departments and private sector groups to develop and refine services for the shared populations they all serve
Learn more about the services we offer for:
The Crisis Mental Health System helps individuals in crisis remain in the community by avoiding an unnecessary hospitalization or removal from the natural environment. To receive any of the services listed below, call 410-931-2214.
- 24-hour Operations Center
- Mobile Crisis Teams
- In-Home Intervention Team
- Urgent Care Clinic
- Non-Mental Health Emergency Housing
- Critical Incident Stress Management
The Adult Services Team:
- Provides oversight and consultation to mental health programs in Baltimore County
- Maintains the active waiting list and coordinates referrals to the County's Residential Rehabilitation Program
- Completes authorizations in Optum Health Options for the Supported Employment Program
- Approves extensions for crisis beds
If you are covered by a private insurance plan, you must contact your insurance company for a list of covered providers.
Note: Fund applications must be completed by a psychiatrist, psychologist, counselor, social worker or case manager working on behalf of the consumer in need. Baltimore County provides limited funds for one-time assistance to County residents with a mental illness who meet eligibility requirements.
Adult Flexible Fund
The Baltimore County CSA has a one-time only grant fund, which can assist qualifying applicants with their medications used for the treatment of mental illness. This fund is intended to assist those who are waiting for approval of their MA and who have scheduled an appointment with a provider who accepts MA. The flex fund application must be completed by a case manager or other mental health professional.
The fund provides payment for psychiatric medications on a limited and long-term basis.
- The Employed Individuals with Disabilities Program provides similar services as MA to certain individuals who are working and have a disability. Coverage includes certain mental health and physical health care as well as prescription coverage. Call 866-373-9651 to request an application.
- The Bureau of Behavioral Health offers one-time assistance for persons meeting eligibility requirements who have exhausted other options to obtain funding for psychotropic medication. Persons must have a case manager, therapist or physician to complete the psychiatric medication application on their behalf.
To obtain resources for publicly-funded mental health services that accept MA, call 410-887-3828 for a list of providers or 410-931-2214 for names of providers.
- No-income or low-income individuals may apply for MA insurance by either of the following methods:
- Call Maryland Health Connection at 1-855-642-8572 or 1-877-223-5201.
- Visit our office to apply. Call 410-887-2957 to find out what documents you need to bring with you.
- Uninsured individuals whose income is too high for MA may call 410-887-3828 for a list of sliding-scale alternative resources that may be available.
While you are waiting for your MA card in the mail, if your need for mental health services is urgent, you may contact a public mental health provider or call 410-931-2214 to schedule an appointment with the Baltimore County Crisis Response System Urgent Care Clinic.
Residential Rehabilitation Program (RRP) services are designed to provide assistance to eligible adults who have serious and persistent mental illness and are in need of psychiatric rehabilitation in a supervised residential setting. Services include:
- Assistance with activities of daily living
- Community integration
- Medication monitoring
- Development of independent living skills, with the ultimate goal of moving independently into the community
In order to be eligible for RRP services in Baltimore County, an applicant must:
- Be a resident of Baltimore County
- Have a diagnosis that meets the priority population definition for adults
- Be eligible for MA
- Have a clear need for rehabilitation
RRP services are not the same as housing, which is only provided as part of the RRP services. All residents are expected to contribute to the cost of their care, and do their part towards the care and cleanliness of the residence. An application for RRP services can be mailed or faxed to the Residential Specialist.
The Supported Employment Program is part of a mental health initiative that partners with the Maryland Division of Rehabilitation Services to provide and promote employment opportunities for eligible adults with mental illness. Services include:
- Job readiness training
- Job coaching
- Assistance with finding employment
- Support to maintain employment in the community.
To learn more, call 410-887-3828 and ask to speak to a member of the Adult Services Team.
For Children, Adolescents and Young Adults, and Family Services (CAYA)
The CAYA Team in the Bureau of Behavioral Health and Core Service Agency contracts for and monitors publicly-funded services for children and adolescents with severe emotional and behavioral problems who are at risk for out-of-home placement and their families. Learn more about the services offered by CAYA.
For the Elderly
The Geriatric Services Team works with seniors and their families who need help coping with typical problems that arise with aging such as depression, anxiety, relationship conflicts and difficulties coping with loss and other life changes. Services include:
- Pre-screening evaluations
- Discussion groups
- Home visits
For access to Geriatric Services, call Tymeka Jones of Hope Health Systems, Inc. at 410-265-8737.
PEERS: Seniors in Partnership by the Mental Health Association of Maryland also helps elderly individuals cope with isolation and depression. To learn more, call Kim Burton at 443-901-1550, extension 210.
Call the Quality Assurance Team at 410-887-3828 to become a licensed mental health services provider or to be added to our provider contact list to receive information regarding provider meetings, trainings and other events that our agency offers.
File a Complaint
To file a complaint regarding services received in Baltimore County, call 410-887-3828 and ask to speak to a Quality Assurance Team member.
View additional local, state and national resources.
- Baltimore County Crisis Response System
- First Call for Help—For referrals
Phone: 410-685-0525 or 211
- Grassroots Crisis Line—For suicide intervention
- Maryland Youth Crisis—For any type of intervention
- Pharmacy Access Hotline—For pharmacy or medication access issues
Phone: 410-767-5800 or 800-492-5231 (toll free, select option three)
Hours: Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Postpartum Depression Hotline
- Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence
- Behavioral Health Administration
- Baltimore City Core Service Agency
- Licensed Assisted Living Facility List—View a list of licensed assisted living homes or group homes throughout Maryland.
- Mental Health Association of Maryland—Provides family support and advocacy.
- On Our Own of Maryland—Statewide mental health advocacy group that provides local wellness and resource centers in Baltimore County.
The following organizations provide general information to mental health professionals, students and consumers.