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.
The Wounded Warrior Project’s ‘Soldier Ride’ Comes to the DMV

The Wounded Warrior Project’s ‘Soldier Ride’ Comes to the DMV

Washington-The Wounded Warrior Project is hosting a Soldier Ride in the DMV. The organization aims to unite veterans by hosting events that promote wellness, friendship and healing.

Senate Passes Bill Decriminalizing Marijuana Paraphernalia

Senate Passes Bill Decriminalizing Marijuana Paraphernalia

After some discussion and two failed amendments, the Maryland Senate on Friday passed a bill decriminalizing the use or possession of marijuana paraphernalia.

Maryland Health Connection Enrollment Drops Despite Efforts

Maryland Health Connection Enrollment Drops Despite Efforts

The number of people who enrolled in health care plans this year through the Maryland Health Connection has dropped by 10.4 percent at this point, despite efforts to increase the number of insured including a larger call center staff, a streamlined website and more public knowledge of the program.

Delegates Hear Bill That Would Punish Heroin and Fentanyl Dealers Whose Drugs Kill

Delegates Hear Bill That Would Punish Heroin and Fentanyl Dealers Whose Drugs Kill

Opponents Fear 30-Year Maximum Sentence Would Be Applied to Users

Annapolis Roundup

Annapolis Roundup

A roundup of recent activity in Annapolis.

Rise In Suicidal Behavior At Waxter Girls’ Detention Center

Rise In Suicidal Behavior At Waxter Girls’ Detention Center

The Juvenile Justice Monitoring Unit’s 2013 annual report indicated a 56 percent spike in suicide ideation and attempts from youth serving time at Waxter.

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