How do I know if I could benefit from mental health services?

Mental health is crucial to overall well-being. A person’s mental health may affect how they handle stress, relationships and life choices.  It includes our emotional, psychological, social and physiological well-being. Mental health may be affected by biological factors such as genes or brain chemistry, life experiences or family history.

Possible early warning signs of a mental health condition:

  • Avoiding people or activities
  • Changes in eating or sleeping patterns
  • Low energy
  • Feelings of numbness or hopelessness.
  • Drinking, Smoking or using drugs to excess or more than usual.
  • Mood swings.
  • Hearing voices, seeing things or believing things that are not true.
  • Thinking of harming yourself or others.
  • Yelling or fighting with family and friends.
  • Persistent and disruptive thoughts.
  • Feeling confused, angry or upset.
  • Aches and pains with no medical explanation.

How can your services help?

Our programs can help foster mental by targeting services to your needs and creating positive mental health outcomes.

Positive mental health allows people to:

  • Work or volunteer in the community
  • Manage stress effectively
  • Make good choices for their health
  • Form good relationships
  • Realize their full potential

Who pays for mental health services?

There are many payers of mental health. If you have Medical Assistance (Medicaid) the entire cost is covered. Some people also choose to pay out of pocket for the expense. Southern Maryland Community Network, Inc., only accepts Medical Assistance, uninsured and fee for service (out of pocket).  Some of our programs are grant funded through the County, State or Federal Government. These are provided free of charge to eligible participants.

How often do I need to participate?

Participation depends upon the program that you select. Participation requirements vary by program.  For each program you will receive a Consent for Services Form that describes your commitment so that you can make an informed decision.  You may keep a copy of this document.

Do I have to take medication?

Some of our programs offer medication monitoring. You may refuse any recommendations for medication if you choose.  However, medications can produce positive changes in behavior that can help you participate more effectively in your program and achieve your goals more readily.

I have a therapist already. What is different about your services?

Most of our services help act as an extension of your therapist. We help make sure that you have hands on help to meet your therapy goals and can ensure that your therapist is aware of the strengths and challenges in your life so you can move forward in your recovery.

I need housing. What can you do for me?

Depending upon your diagnosis and needs you may qualify for our Residential Housing or Housing Stabilization program. These are small programs and may have waiting lists.  Southern Maryland Community Network, Inc. has had great success helping people find and maintain community housing either with private landlords or through housing programs in the Southern Maryland area. We help you find an effective housing solution.

I need transportation. What can you do for me?

Southern Maryland Community Network, Inc. is able to provide limited transportation in some of our programs. For example, PRP, Residential, Targeted Case Management and Supported Employment. Depending upon the program, the transportation provided must meet the goals on the treatment plan and fall within the scope of that program. We do mobility training where we help you learn to utilize public transportation, medical transportation and also brainstorm natural supports that can meet this need.  Many of our services are provided where you live and work.

For youth served, we provide limited transportation for the youth and their parent(s) or guardian for therapeutic purposes.  We do not transport siblings who are not being served.

We do our best to ensure your safety in our vehicles. All transportation is provided on a voluntary basis. Emergency services will be called in a medical, psychiatric or behavioral emergency.

Will I lose my SSDI benefits if I start working?

No. Southern Maryland Community Network provides benefits management services. We help you navigate the complexities of benefits and when each program is applicable to your situation.

Social Security has created a Trial Work Period (TWP). This allows people to work for up to nine months during a five-year period without losing their SSDI benefits. There is no limit to what your earnings can be during these trial months. The TWP level for 2019 is $880 per month. You will want to know if you have used your TWP.

After that, for every month you earn above the SGA you will not be eligible for your cash SSDI benefits. For every month within your three-year Extended Period of Eligibility (EPE) that you earn less than, $1220 you will still be eligible for your SSDI cash benefits. There are work incentives that allow someone to earn over $1220 and still be eligible for their benefit.

What is Substantial Gainful Activity?

Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) is what SSA compares your countable earnings to after your TWP has ended. SSA is looking at the value of your work and comparing it to the 2019 SGA level of $1220.

Will I lose my SSI benefits if I start working?

If you receive SSI, you can only earn up to $85.00 before your benefits will be lowered. Above that, your SSI payments will be reduced by $1.00 for every $2.00 you earn. There are work incentives that allow you to keep more of your SSI check. You may still be eligible to receive Medicaid, the health insurance program for the people with limited financial resources, even if you no longer receive money from SSI.

We will help make sure that you understand how this applies to your unique situation.