Mental health and substance abuse agencies merge

Baltimore Substance Abuse Systems and Baltimore Mental Health Systems will merge this fall as the field moves to integrating substance abuse and mental health treatment.

The new organization will be named Behavioral Health System Baltimore, employ 70 people and have a $68.5 million operating budget.

The merger, contingent on the board approval of both organizations, comes as the state of Maryland prepares to combine substance use and mental health programming into one agency next year.

Bernard J. McBride, director of Bucks County Behavioral Health System in Pennsylvania, will start as CEO of the new organization Aug. 19.

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