The Brightside: Local Care Team
WICOMICO CO., Md. – The pandemic has brought on a lot of hardships for many people, and one that may go unnoticed more than some others is children dealing with mental health challenges. But one team in Wicomico County is looking out for those children and their families.
“We know sometimes this can be very daunting, so we want to be there to give the parent support, and caregivers support, so that they have a voice,” Michelle Bradley, the Director of the Local Management Board, said.
Giving parents a voice is what Michelle and the rest of the Local Care Team in Wicomico County aim to do every single day if those parents have a child who is suffering through a mental health challenge.
“Their sole purpose is to wrap services around families who have children who have mental health, or behavioral issues, so that we can keep them in the home instead of putting them in an out of home placement,” she said of the team.
With the goal of keeping kids in their homes with their families rather than a hospital or a mental health facility, Michelle and the rest of her team have their work cut out for them. But it’s work that, they say, is absolutely worth it.
“It makes me feel validated, like I’m doing my job… I’m a nurturing person already, so I love to link, coordinate, and assist the families with getting the help that they need,” Miya Horsey, a Local Care Team Coordinator, said.
Miya says this work is especially important right now as kids are home more than ever and they could be silently suffering.
“Children that had mental health issues such as depression, or anxiety, they were scared to talk about it, and a lot of families, they sweep it under the rug, but with the pandemic happening, they can’t really sweep it under the rug,” she said.
And in a world where mental health can still be a taboo topic, Michelle and Miya say it’s the Local Care Team’s goal to make sure every kid and family feels comfortable getting the help they need.
“People are seeing that everybody needs help now, it’s not just a certain person, or neighborhood, it’s everyone,” Michelle said.
If you’re in need of resources, you can contact the local care team via Facebook or by calling 410-546-5400.