The Division of Community Psychiatry originated as a complex of grant funded outpatient mental health clinics in 1966 with the inception of community-based care for individuals previously treated in large state-operated psychiatric hospitals. The program was operated on a catchment-area system where geographic boundaries determined where an individual with a serious mental illness could access care.
As the financial and mental health services landscape has changed over the past 25 years, the state of Maryland has gradually moved into a fee-for-service model operated by the private health care provider network. Psychiatric Rehabilitation was introduced in 1986 and is now represented by Harbor City Unlimited programs that include residential and employment components. In 1990 the Program for Assertive Community Treatment (PACT) was introduced in a grant funded demonstration project, accepted by the state as a reimbursable service in the mid-1990’s and finally in June of 2006 was accepted as an evidenced-based mental health service.
Finally, in the mid-1990’s targeted case management (CSP) was developed to address the needs of people with mental illness who were having difficulty accessing community resources. The Social Security Income Project (SSI) also followed as an avenue for persons with mental illness to obtain help in accessing entitlement benefits through the Social Security Administration.
What has evolved is a complex system of comprehensive mental health services, the majority of which are fee-for-service. Individuals with Medicare, Medicaid, or no insurance are entitled to receive care in this publicly supported mental health system of the University of Maryland Medical Center. We have grown from a system of maintenance and containment of individuals with chronic mental illness to a system of hope and recovery. Our focus is to partner with the consumer and assist in identification of goals, development of strategies and movement towards success in managing illness and recovering a life of meaning.