MARYLAND (WDVM) — Mental health is an important topic. Many residents expressed the need for mental health resources and outlets to help cope with stress.

Governor Larry Hogan is taking the necessary steps to better support Marylanders mental health by establishing the Maryland Behavioral Health and Public Safety Center of Excellence Advisory Group.

This group was recommended by the Commission to Study Mental and Behavioral Health in Maryland, chaired by Lt. Governor Boyd K. Rutherford. 

“The creation of the Maryland Behavioral Health and Public Safety Center of Excellence Advisory Group will ensure the vital work of the Commission’s efforts to address the mental and behavioral health needs of our citizens involved in the judicial system will continue beyond our administration,” said Lt. Governor Rutherford. The Maryland Behavioral Health and Public Safety Center of Excellence was created via legislation passed by the Maryland General Assembly and signed into law by Governor Hogan during the 2021 legislative session.

According to the Governor’s office, The advisory group will, will share their expertise and advice on the development and implementation of the Center of Excellence’s action plan will work to help those with mental illness, stay away from criminal justice involvement with necessary treatment.

In a press release Hogan’s office wrote:

Housed in the Governor’s Office Crime Prevention, Youth and Victims Services, the center will act as a statewide clearing house for behavioral health related treatment and diversion programs develop a strategic plan to increase treatment and reduce detention of those with behavioral health disorders in the judicial system, and provide technical support for localities to develop behavioral health support systems for those involved in the criminal justice system.