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The Mental Health Systems Improvement Collaborative (MHSIC)

The Mental Health Systems Improvement Collaborative (MHSIC) was created in 2001 as a joint venture between the Mental Hygiene Administration (MHA) and the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB). This new program evolved from the longstanding training partnership between UMB and MHA, the Mental Health Services Training Collaborative (MHSTC). In response to the success of this activity in supporting the development of the Public Mental Health System (PMHS), leaders of the two organizations explored other possibilities for collaboration. The new Collaborative is the result of that mutual deliberation.

MHSIC is made up of the former Training Collaborative, now renamed the Mental Health Services Training Center, and the Evidence-Based Practice Center. The two Centers work in partnership, in conjunction with MHA, to foster and support the continued development of the PMHS. This combination of Centers provides an opportunity to initiate changes in system management, policy development, and service delivery through the Mental Health Services Training and Evidence-Based Practice Centers.

MHSIC staff believes that involvement of representatives of the mental health community in the State enhances the success of the Collaboratives initiatives. Consumer and family members, providers, administrators, and other advocates are routinely asked to participate in work groups related to specific projects. The MHSIC welcomes comments and ideas from anyone who has an interest in our activities.

Mental Health Services Training Center (MHSTC)

The Mental Health Services Training Center, formerly the Mental Health Services Training Collaborative, assists the Mental Hygiene Administration (MHA) in planning, organizing and implementing conferences and training activities to Support the continued growth and development of the public mental health system. The Mental Health Services Training Center represents collaboration between MHA and the Universitys Division of Services Research designed to serve the training and service development needs of Marylands mental health delivery system. Reflecting MHAs commitment to education and training, the Training Center ensures that the Universitys emphasis on research and implementing evidence-based treatment is closely interwoven with the needs and growth of the public mental health system. Additionally, the MHSTC monitors training funds that are awarded each year to consumer and family advocacy agencies for a variety of programs that promote awareness and understanding on a broad range of mental health issues. It also monitors the overall quality of all sponsored training activities.

Evidence-Based Practice Center (EBPC)

The mental health field has benefited from a substantial body of research about practices that improve the lives of many people who experience mental illness. Yet research shows these practices are frequently not made available to those seeking treatment. The Evidence-Based Practice Center (EBPC) was established in 2001 by the Mental Hygiene Administration (MHA) to address this gap between science and real world practice. The Centers goal is to distribute research-based information on mental health treatment to stakeholders in Marylands public mental health system, and to promote adoption and implementation of those practices through ongoing training and consultation.

Through its location within the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, the EBP Center has access to a broad range of materials and key figures in mental health practice and policy research. They can be helpful to MHAs ongoing efforts to improve practice within the public mental health system by assisting providers to implement services that promote stabilization, healing and recovery.

The EBP Center provides direct training and consultation on evidence-based practices to local mental health authorities, program leaders, clinicians, consumers and family members. It serves as a resource to MHA in examining and addressing the system barriers to faithful implementation of evidence-based practices. The Center also assists MHA in responding to federal and other funding opportunities that offer an expanded capacity for research and service delivery in the state.