As Maryland debates further shifts of the mentally ill population from institutional to community-based care, it's being challenged by an explosion of patients in need of treatment and a system that may be improperly structured to accommodate them in the community, officials say. Read more.

Poor word choices still pop up in the media, especially in headlines where political correctness may be sacrificed in favor of cleverness. Read more.

The HOPE Wellness and Recovery Center has provided a critical safety net for the homeless since its opening in February 2001. Read more.

Montgomery, Howard, Harford and Prince George’s counties all have dedicated training programs in Maryland to teach police officers how to respond to mentally ill people in crisis. Read more.

John Allen, a former psychiatric patient, runs support groups and one-on-one sessions with patients transitioning out of mental institutions. Read more.
History of U.S. Mental Institutions
In the early 1800s, most of the mentally ill in the U.S. were housed in brutal prison conditions. Efforts by early reformers ushered in institutions for the mentally ill, which were considered more humane. But in recent decades, officials and advocates have pressed for deinstitutionalization. Many mentally ill are now being treated in community settings -- but others are finding themselves in prisons or in shelters. View the timeline.
Institutions in Maryland
Despite a decades-long effort to move mentally ill patients from state-run psychiatric hospitals into community settings, Maryland still operates five institutions for the mentally ill and two for those with developmental disabilities, along with two facilities for children and two for chronically ill adults. Click an icon to learn more about a facility. See larger map.
About This Project
How successful is Maryland's health system at treating the mentally disabled? What are police doing to prepare themselves to respond to those in crisis? And how well do the media cover those with disabilities?

Those are some of the questions a team of University of Maryland Philip Merrill College of Journalism students asked while reporting a project on the national push toward deinstitutionalization. The health multimedia reporting project was launched with support from Kaiser Health News service and the college's Capital News Service advanced reporting program and was led by faculty member Chris Harvey.
Local Shelter Protects Those Who Served

Local Shelter Protects Those Who Served

One of the only of its kind in the country, a homeless shelter in Darnestown is protecting homeless veterans by serving as a semi-permanent home to help vets in need get back on their feet.

Police Reveal More About the Columbia Mall Shooter

Police Reveal More About the Columbia Mall Shooter

New information has been uncovered about the shooting at the Mall in Columbia in January that took the lives of two young adults - including how the Columbine shooting in Colorado played a role.

Maryland high school students take the plunge for the Special Olympics

Maryland high school students take the plunge for the Special Olympics

Maryland high school students participate in the Cool School Polar Plunge at Sandy Point State Park

Students at Walt Whitman take a “mindful” break from school

Students at Walt Whitman take a “mindful” break from school

Walt Whitman High School students take a break from classes

Checking the Pulse on Maryland’s Hearts

Checking the Pulse on Maryland’s Hearts

LINTHICUM- Maryland's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene partnered with the CDC's Million Hearts Campaign to fight heart disease and prevent over 1 million heart attacks and strokes by 2017.

Task Force Recommends Maryland’s First Veterans Court

Task Force Recommends Maryland’s First Veterans Court

The Maryland Task Force on Military Service Members, Veterans and the Courts proposes a veterans court in Prince George's County.

Military’s Mental Illness Stigma Pushes Navy Captain to Edge

Military’s Mental Illness Stigma Pushes Navy Captain to Edge

During his battle with depression, Navy Capt. Todd Kruder attempted suicide three times. Now, he writes books to assist members of the military.

Autistic Children Get VIP Time with Santa at Columbia Mall

Autistic Children Get VIP Time with Santa at Columbia Mall

The Sensory Friendly Santa events at The Mall in Columbia are a chance for children on the autism spectrum to visit St.Nick.

Increasing Opportunities for Maryland Youth with Autism

Increasing Opportunities for Maryland Youth with Autism

A growing number of Maryland organizations are offering special programs for people on the autism spectrum.

New Hires to Help UMD Mental Health Services

New Hires to Help UMD Mental Health Services

A $5 million donation from Pepsi will help the University of Maryland's mental health services.