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Walden Awarded SBIRT Grant


The St. Mary’s County Health Department has awarded Walden, the leading provider of treatment and recovery support services for adolescents and adults in Maryland, a grant designed to increase the number of individuals accessing substance abuse treatment services. The new project illustrates Walden’s continued dedication to ongoing improvement in behavioral healthcare access for the community.

As one of several initiatives funded to address the opiate health crisis in St. Mary’s County, the SBIRT, Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment grant project “is an evidence-based practice used to identify, reduce and prevent problematic use abuse, and dependence on alcohol and illicit drugs” (St. Mary’s County Health Department, 2014). The SBIRT project was one of the six initiatives that were selected by a team of community members consisting of health providers, social services and law enforcement. Walden received funding for this award through a competitive request for proposal process.

The grant provides Walden the opportunity to train both local primary care providers and youth educational professionals to facilitate early detection and referral for treatment of substance misuse. According to Mental Health First Aid materials, an estimated 23.1 million Americans (9.1 percent) needed treatment for a problem related to drugs or alcohol in 2010, but only about 2.6 million people (1 percent) received treatment. The SBIRT project seeks to address this treatment gap.

“Receiving this award speaks to Walden’s long-term commitment to providing best practice interventions to the community,” said Walden’s CEO Dr. Kathleen O’Brien. Primary care providers interested in learning more about this opportunity please contact Walden’s COO Gary Lynch at (301) 327-2555 or


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