Providing comprehensive behavioral health services and recovery support, Walden Sierra has been a powerful force for good in the community since 1973. This week, we spoke with Walden’s Christine Timmerman, who shared her organization’s story with Friday Focus.
Q: Tell us about your organization (who you serve, what you do, etc.).
A: For over 40 years, Walden has been at the forefront of behavioral health in the Southern Maryland Region. Since 1973, we have continued to grow and evolve to meet the changing needs of individuals and families, all while working hard to improve the overall health of our surrounding community. Our comprehensive array of services is designed to provide clients with the help they need, when they need it. Our mission at Walden Sierra is to contribute to the well-being of the Southern Maryland community: “Help for Today, Hope for Tomorrow”. Walden’s vision is to consistently provide the best behavioral health treatment and recovery support services to Southern Maryland.
The name Walden was inspired by the work of Henry David Thoreau. St. Mary’s County has been home to Walden since 1973. Walden is a local, community based 501(c)(3) nonprofit CARF (Commission for Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities) accredited organization, with six different locations in Southern Maryland.
Central to our programming is our 24 hour local crisis hotline, 301-863-6661. This hotline is one of the oldest local, professionally staffed hotlines in operation in the United States. From the hotline, Walden is able to help individual community members and better understand unmet community needs. We have used this information to build our programming as a response to community needs.
Walden has received several excellence awards over the years. Some of these awards include: the Sunshine Peace Award, the NAMI Social Impact Award, and the Better With Less Award. We take great pride in what we do to help the community here at Walden Sierra, and we couldn’t do what we do without the support of our community partners, leadership team, and management team.
Q: What is your favorite “moment” (example of how your organization helped)?
A: Walden’s favorite moments are when someone in need of our services has been given the resources and support to achieve the utmost care that Walden can provide for them. Each year, we provide our community with an Annual Report informing Southern Maryland of the impact that Walden Sierra has had on the community, and the resources that we have provided to those in need of services. The Annual Report highlights our mission statement, provides our location information, the services Walden provides, and the amount of increased clients we have provided services to. In 2014, Walden Sierra received 13,634 calls to our 24-hour hotline, there was a 150% increase in clients receiving recovery support through Walden Sierra: Cove location in California, MD, and we received many testimonials and feedback about the experiences our clients receive at our facilities throughout the year. Here are just a few:
“Walden is a very welcoming and open-hearted place. Treated each other like family and had an ear open at all times.” — Anonymous
“All the staff have been incredible on my long road to recovery. They have not given up on me.” — Anonymous
“I am very happy with the treatment I have enjoyed and learned a lot by coming here. I feel stronger about the way I feel and how I’m control everything. My body and mind are more clear. The staff have been fun and have shown me so much. Thank you. I am grateful for the opportunity of a lifetime. There is no other treatment program I could have asked for to help me succeed.” — Anonymous
Q: How can people get involved with your organization?
A: WAYS TO DONATE – Financial Donations
Every dollar makes a tremendous difference and is greatly appreciated. We rely on donations from individuals, groups, and businesses as well as foundation grants to help us keep our underfunded programs going. As a result, individuals and families can access many of our services regardless of their ability to afford them. Donations can be directed to a particular Walden program. The majority of the general donations we receive go toward off-setting the costs of our crisis and emergency services and our services for vulnerable populations. All donations can be claimed for tax benefit. Donors are welcome to contact us to ask for a tour or to speak with a Walden staff member about our current needs and projects. Thank you for supporting Walden!