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Questions and Answers

Some questions are asked frequently and we have decided to harvest the questions and answers into a web page.  If you would like to have some questions and answers added to the page, please let us know via the feedback mechanism.

Q:  Medications are really expensive.  Is there any help available for people who are mentally ill? A:  The State of Maryland's Maryland Pharmacy Assistance Program provides assistance based on the financial resources available to the family unit. 

Montgomery County has an Rx prescription card program for all Montgomery County residents.

A number of pharmaceutical companies have developed a program for people with limited income who are less than 65 years old.   

Q:  Is there information available about the Medicare Prescription Drug Program? Some of the current state programs will be replaced with the Federal Government's Medicare Prescription Drug Program.  People began to get mailings about the program in September.

The Federal Government has information on it's web site about the program.

Montgomery County provides information and help (including individual appointments) through SHIP (Senior Health Insurance Assistance Program).  Although this program is labeled for Seniors, they have advise and for people who are disabled regardless of age.

NAMI has tried to represent people who have mental illness during the development of the new plan.

When choosing a program make sure that the medications needed are covered in the program.

Q:  Is there financial help available for people who are disabled? Yes, there is Supplemental Security Income and Social Security Disability Income.  The Disability Entitlement Advocacy Program (DEAP) of the State of Maryland can provide help in applying to these programs.

The group Independence Now has Benefit Specialists to help answer questions about Supplemental Security Income and Social Security Disability Income.
Q:  Is there a place that I can call for immediate help when there is a crisis? A:  Yes, the Montgomery County Crisis Center is an excellent resource.  The center provides goal-oriented crisis intervention, brief crisis stabilization, and help in obtaining services for individuals and families with a mental health crisis or experiencing other crisis situations. The center is open 24 hours a day.  Their phone number is 240-777-4000. 
Q:  Is there a support group for parents of children? A:  A free support group for parents of children and adolescents with mental illness meets the 3rd Tuesday of each month at Suburban Hospital in Bethesda from 7:30-9 PM in Room CR 6,7 (lower level). For more information, contact Emily Novick at 301-949-5852 or enovick@namimc.org.
Q:  Are there other support groups in the area? NAMI has a number of support groups.  Montomery County Support groups are for family and friends of people with a mental disease.  There are a number of NAMI support groups in Northern Virgina - the NAMI Northern Virginia web site is a good site for people who live in Northern Virginia.

DBSA has a patient only support group that meets every Thursday evening at George Washington University Hospital (7:30 PM). 

Q:  I read about research being done to help develop new treatments for mental illness.  Is there a way to participate in the research efforts? A.  There are a number of research programs looking for participants in what are known as Clinical Trials.  When you participate in a research program, the experimental treatments are free, and in some cases there is a small payment made to the patients.  Research instituti ons in the area have a number of programs.  The National Institutes of Mental Health (NIMH) in Bethesda has Clinical Trials that are both outpatient and inpatient.  A number of the area universities also have Clinical Trials:  George Washington University, Georgetown, Johns Hopkins and the University of Maryland.  Clinical trials are also done by pharmaceutical companies and these are advertised on the radio and in the newspapers.





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