Mental Health & Substance Misuse
We are experiencing soaring rates of anxiety, depression, trauma, loneliness, and suicide. We need to address provider adequacy and the shortage of mental health professionals to deal with this crisis. We need to improve access, quality of care and that people get the needed help at the right time.
As a staunch advocate for mental health, Sid put forth a Student Mental Health Support System bill this past legislative session that passed the county delegation but fell short in timing. This was a product of years of collaboration between parents, Anne Arundel County Mental Health Agency (AACMHA), Anne Arundel County NAACP, School Psychologists and Anne Arundel Community College Students who crafted consensus policy on this issue.
Too often mental illness and substance misuse occur simultaneously. Like COVID, the opioid crisis is evolving and we are seeing more deaths and overdoses due to fentanyl. Sid understands the importance of early prevention, community, and creative solutions to reducing harm. Sid believes that vigilant education programs and readily available resources are making a difference. It’s important for policymakers to consider individuals’ level of access to these programs. Life during and post-pandemic, has raised awareness about the epidemic and rise of mental illness and substance abuse. The fact remains, this epidemic never went away, and we must continue to be proactive.