Luisa Montero leads a panel discussion on Mental Health care needs Tuesday night in Langley Park, MD
May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and Tuesday night in Langley Park, neighborhood activists gathered with elected officials to discuss the lack of quality mental health care in the community.
More than half of residents who live in this community on the northwest edge of Prince George's County are Hispanic or Latino. It's an area where, according to advocate Luisa Montero, access to quality mental health care is not always readily available.
"We hope to examine some of the needs, discuss some of the preventions strategies, and look at the role that various community members can play," she says.
State Senator Victor Ramirez, who attended the mental health round table meeting, says although the recently passed state budget includes cuts in many areas, it also contains an increase in the state's alcohol tax -- which he hopes will help support quality care for families and adolescents.
"Part of that money will go to funding disabilities and some of the mental health projects in Maryland," he says. "That's what we're doing in the state to be a leader in that aspect
Advocates citing The Mental Health Association of Maryland say one in five residents live with a diagnosable mental health disorder.