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What’s New

NAMI WALKS was virtual, May 30th!

NAMI Walks is NAMI HC’s biggest fundraiser of the year.  Mental health services are needed more urgently during times of national crisis but as you might imagine, fundraising during tough economic times can be challenging.   NAMI HC’s fundraising efforts are down 40% from the same time last year.

It’s not to late to donate!

  • DONATE (Be sure to choose Howard County when asked to identify the affiliate that you are supporting!)

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Education classes

Call Yulanda Blackston, Director of Programs at 410-772-9300 or

email  for more information.


NAMI Basics Education Course:

 A six-week course specifically designed for parents and other primary caregivers of children and adolescents who are

living with mental illness. The course follows a structured format and includes practical insights on issues frequently

faced by families dealing with mental illness. The 2.5 hour class is taught by trained parents who have lived similar

experiences with their own children. It is not necessary that the child has received a specific diagnosis.


Have you had direct contact with the Police? 

We want to encourage NAMI members who have had direct contact with the mental health team members and/or CIT training to write reviews that emphasize how important the mental health training and staff are to the residents of Howard County. Contact them at the link below:

The Howard County Local Health Improvement Coalition (HCLHIC) is working to increase participation in evidence-based mental health and suicide prevention education and stigma reduction programs by 20% in order to reduce emergency department visits related to mental health conditions and decrease suicide rates in Howard County. HCLHIC partner organizations including: Howard County General Hospital, Grassroots Crisis Intervention, Humanim and the Mental Health Association of Maryland are collaborating to make these programs accessible to the community.


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Police expand voluntary “flagging” program for calls to 911

Howard County police are expanding a program in which residents can voluntarily “flag” their address in the 911 system to make police aware of a family member with a disability. The program began through a partnership with autism advocates in 2012, but has expanded to include other information residents believe would be relevant to a police response, if 911 is ever called.

 For example, if someone living with autism has sensory sensitivity, an officer could be mindful of the possible effect of police lights or sirens when approaching that household. If a person with dementia has a history of wandering to a particular place, responding officers would know to quickly check that location. Or if responding officers are aware in advance that a person inside a residence is deaf, they can be prepared if they do not get a response to verbal directions.
“Whenever possible, we want to make accommodations to best-serve the needs of all our residents,” said Police Chief Gary Gardner. “Having this valuable information in advance can reduce confusion in what may already be a stressful or chaotic situation. Our goal is always to create the safest possible environment for everyone.”
The flagging program can be used for various relevant mental or physical health concerns, to include:
  • Autism
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Intellectual, developmental or degenerative disabilities
  • Physical disabilities
  • Mental health diagnoses
  • Other behavior that may affect police response
A request form is available on the Howard County Police Department’s website under “Programs and Services.” Residents with questions about the program should contact the Community Outreach Division at 
410-313-2207 or All information submitted as part of the 911 flagging program remains confidential and will only be used by emergency dispatchers and responders.



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