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 Advocacy Day

In Annapolis is February 20th  This is a wonderful opportunity to share your concerns with our legislators about the state of mental health care in Maryland.  Register for Advocacy Day here.



People have been gathering for our Sunday Suppers program since 1982. Sunday Suppers is a social gathering for adults living with mental illness. The event is monthly on Sundays begins at 3 p.m at the Florence  Bain  Senior Center, 5470 Ruth Keeton Way, Columbia, 21044.  Meals are prepared by local churches and organizations. For transportation concerns please contact the office at (410) 772-9300.

   The next Sunday Supper is February  24, 2019.


Register Now for March 2019 Classes

(Our programs are free of charge, just pre-register)


NAMI Basics Education Course:  

A 6-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.

Family-to-Family Education Course:   

A 12-week course to help families arrive at a better understanding of the severe mental illnesses their relatives face.  The illnesses, treatments, medications, problems to expect are covered in depth, as well as coping strategies for family members.  Instructors are trained family volunteers. The class meets once a week for 2.5 hours.

Peer-to-Peer Education Course:

An 8-week course on the topic of recovery for any person with serious mental illness who is interested in establishing and maintaining wellness.  The classes are taught by a team of two trained mentors who are themselves experienced at living well with mental illness. Each class is two hours long.

Please contact Yulanda Blackston, Family & Consumer Program Manager @ 410-772-9300 or

Email: to register!


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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