New Psychosis Center Aims to Prevent Violence

Source: Michael Ollove, Stateline.org, October 9, 2013

Maryland was one of several states that reacted to last year’s mass shooting at a Newtown, Conn., school by boosting mental health spending or tightening gun control laws for people with severe mental illness. Unlike the other states, Maryland also is focusing directly on psychosis, the specific symptom that makes violence more likely. The Maryland General Assembly this year approved Democratic Gov. Martin O’Malley’s $1.2 million request to establish a “Center for Excellence on Early Intervention for Serious Mental Illness.” The program is aimed at identifying young people between the ages of 12 and 30 who are either in full psychosis or at high risk for becoming so, and getting them into immediate treatment. …

…The Maryland General Assembly this year approved Democratic Gov. Martin O’Malley’s $1.2 million request to establish a “Center for Excellence on Early Intervention for Serious Mental Illness.” The program is aimed at identifying young people between the ages of 12 and 30 who are either in full psychosis or at high risk for becoming so, and getting them into immediate treatment. …

…This year, Maryland was one of a handful of states—California, Illinois, Oregon, South Carolina and Texas were the others—that managed to scrape together additional resources for mental health. They bucked a national trend: Between 2009 and 2012, state mental health spending shrunk by a total of $4.35 billion, according to the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors. The states that spent more money typically added psychiatric beds, trained police to help them navigate crises involving the mentally ill, and bolstered psychological services in schools. …