The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH), the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE), the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, the University of Maryland School of Medicine, and the Salisbury University Department of Social Work started the Maryland Behavioral Health Integration Program in Primary Care (B-HIPP) to support primary care physicians’ efforts to assess and manage the mental health needs of their patients. Dr. Joshua M. Sharfstein, Secretary of DHMH, says, “This program will better enable primary care providers to connect their patients to mental health services. It will create critical connections to ensure the seamless delivery of health services for youth.” The State Superintendent of Schools, Lillian Lowery adds, “Early detection and treatment of behavioral issues is critical to improved development of young children, a goal of our Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge Grant. This collaboration with DHMH ensures a strong statewide effort to link pediatric physical and mental health care. That bond will pay off for Maryland children for years to come.” The B-HIPP program, which is funded by DHMH and MSDE, will offer four main components that are available to primary care providers without charge and without regard to a patient’s insurance status: phone consultation, continuing education, referral and resource networking, and social work co-location. Over time, B-HIPP is expected to make managing child and adolescent mental health problems more routine in primary care and make it an efficient and effective entry to specialty mental health care.
Read more about B-HIPP: http://dhmh.maryland.gov/publicrelations/pr/Lists/Posts/Post.aspx?ID=337