How to Access the Public Mental Health System

The Public Mental Health System (PMHS) in Maryland is changing.

By combining Medicaid and Mental Hygiene Administration (MHA) funds, the new system will:

  • Make it easier to get help
  • Help you get better, and
  • Provide quality and cost-effective care.

What Agencies are involved?

Maryland's Mental Hygiene Administration (MHA) of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene watches over and funds the Public Mental Health System.

Core Services Agencies (CSA) plan and manage services at the local level.

Maryland Health Partners (MHP) is hired by MHA to help you or someone you know get care.

How do I know if I need help?

You may need help if:

  • You can't cope with daily life;
  • You feel very sad, stressed or worried;
  • You are not sleeping or eating well;
  • You want to hurt yourself or others;
  • You are troubled by strange thoughts (e.g. hearing voices)

Can the system help me?

You can get help if you need mental health care and have Medicaid.  You may be able to get help if you have limited income and cannot get Medicaid.  If you do not have Medicaid you may have to pay for some of the cost of your care.  Your provider can help you figure how much you need to pay, if any.  If you need help, contact your Core Service Agency (CSA).

How to use the Maryland PMHS's
Toll-Free Help Line
1-800-888-1965
Maryland Relay Toll-Free Help Line
1-800-735-2258    TTY No.:  410-953-1861

One call provides access to all services, 24 hours a day, any day of the year.  Call for help or information about:

  • Emergency help around the clock, every day of the year
  • Information about the program, benefits and services
  • Getting mental health services

The Importance of Calling

By calling our toll-free number, 1-800-888-1965:

  • You can get help right away.  Whether asking about services or in an emergency situation, the person answering the phone can help you.  The phones are staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with highly trained people.
  • You'll be referred to the best provider for you.  The Care Manager will talk with you on the phone to understand your situation.  At the end of the phone call, you will be referred to a provider (or other community resource) who can help with your situation.
  • Your care will be coordinated.  A Care Manager stays in touch with you and your provider.  The goal is to make sure that you are getting the help you need and that it is working.

Everything is Confidential

All staff must follow strict rules and follow all laws and regulations about releasing consumer information.   A consumer must give their written okay before info is released, unless psychiatric emergency or law shows otherwise.  No one can get information from the PMHS about your care unless they are part of the PMHS providing or managing your health.

Other Pages……..
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Glossary and Abbreviations
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