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.
VIVITROL: A Drug Saving Lives

VIVITROL: A Drug Saving Lives

A western Maryland detention center is the first in the country to use a new drug...to combat drug addiction.

Maryland’s onetime mental hospitals cost the state millions of dollars annually

Maryland’s onetime mental hospitals cost the state millions of dollars annually

Maryland has spent around $27 million in the past decade on buildings that are mostly vacant.

National Stress Awareness Month

National Stress Awareness Month

April is national stress awareness month and while you may not be able to avoid stress, there are ways to combat it as some lucky seniors are finding out.

Bill Would Increase Marriage Age in Maryland

Bill Would Increase Marriage Age in Maryland

Delegate Vanessa Atterbeary is pushing legislation to increase the minimum marriage age to 18 in Maryland.

Advocates Rally For Mental Health, Substance Use Disorder Legislation

Advocates Rally For Mental Health, Substance Use Disorder Legislation

More than 400 behavioral health advocates, care providers, patients and their family members rallied in Annapolis on Thursday.

House Committee Hears Debate Over End of Life Option Act

House Committee Hears Debate Over End of Life Option Act

If passed, Maryland's law would make it the fifth state to allow terminally ill patients the option to end their own lives.

Medical Marijuana Supporters Look for Change from Congress

Medical Marijuana Supporters Look for Change from Congress

The Senate passage of legislation allowing VA doctors to recommend medical marijuana use to their patients is a step in the right direction but medical marijuana supporters want to see a change in federal regulation.

One Million Veterans to be Focus of Federal Disease Research Project

One Million Veterans to be Focus of Federal Disease Research Project

Mega bio-bank under construction to study how genes affect veterans' health.

Low-Income Alzheimer’s Patients Battle More Than The Disease

Low-Income Alzheimer’s Patients Battle More Than The Disease

It was 1994 when Barbara Harris noticed her mother, Edith Harris, would write and keep little notes. She was starting to forget things. “She started slipping a little bit,” daughter Harris, a Baltimore resident, recalled. It was not until 1996 that Edith Harris was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, a type of dementia that causes progressive memory loss that eventually interferes with daily tasks and body functions.

Undocumented violence: one immigrant’s story

Undocumented violence: one immigrant’s story

Domestic abuse is a silent crime in the state of Maryland, particularly among undocumented Hispanic immigrants. One woman such woman tells us her story.