Kent County Behavioral Health’s A. F. Whitsitt Center is an inpatient facility in Chestertown offering treatment for adults suffering from chemical dependency and co-occurring disorders.
The Center provides detox and stabilization for people with substance use disorders and/or mental health disorders in a residential setting. The recommended stay is 21 days.
State funded, Behavioral Health Administration, A.F. Whitsitt Center (AFW) has been open since 1983. Additionally, The Governor’s Heroin and Opioid Emergency Task Force recently awarded the Center $800,000 to increase its number of beds from to 40.
The Center’s mission is to offer a better quality of life through substance abuse prevention, intervention, comprehensive treatment and recovery support services for addiction and other mental health issues.
AFW’s Crisis Bed Unit offers short-term detox and stabilization for patients whose primary diagnosis includes mental health problems. The average length of stay is 12-14 days, and upon discharge, patients are supported with a discharge plan that includes case management and introductions to appropriate agencies that can further support their well-being as they transition back into the community.
According to Tim Dove, Director of Outpatient Treatment for Kent County Behavioral Health, a recent increase in available treatment beds has resulted in shorter waiting lists, from 45 days in October 2015 to 14 days at present. There have been some instances in which a referred individual can be admitted on the day the referral was received.
AFW also reaches out to county residents through the Care Coordination/Peer Support Services offered by Kent County Behavioral Health (KCBH) by providing referrals and helping to monitor sober living environments. The AFW Recovery In Motion Center offers a wide variety of support groups as well as computer access for the purpose of employment research, resume writing, and job applications.
KCBH also works with other agencies in the county to address the problems caused by substance abuse. KCBH staff participate in the Rock Hall Town Hall Meeting, provide presentations at Rotary Club meetings, and conduct programs in faith-based communities around the county, including Hope Fellowship, Chestertown Baptist, Emmanuel Church of Pomona, and St. George Church of Worton. They also work closely with the Alano Club, a 12-step recovery organization.
Says Dove, “The Whitsitt Center recognizes the ongoing opioid epidemic and seeks to make treatment more accessible while securing additional funding for the growing number of people seeking recovery.”
AFW initiatives and projects include:
Education and provision of Naloxone in the community
Working with University of Maryland Shore Medical Center at Chestertown to access prompt residential treatment for people who have been revived after an opioid overdose.
Working with Kent County District and Circuit Court in the Post Adjudication Substance Abuse Treatment (PAST) program.
Working with Kent County Detention Center (KCDC) treatment for substance use disorder is provided in the jail. Appropriate referrals for continuing care to facilitate reentry after completing their sentence.
Providing education and administration of Vivitrol, a medication that works in conjunction with counseling and recovery.
KCBH participates in the Kent County DSS multidisciplinary team and contributes to various committees and work groups facilitated by Mid-Shore Behavioral Health.
KCBH employs a wide array of professionals, all of whom have a background in treating people with substance use disorder and / or a mental health disorder. The agency also offers a strong internship program for college? Undergraduate? Graduate? Students pursuing studies in behavioral health and addiction treatment services. These interns, along with volunteers from the community, help KCBH personnel participate in varied church services and activities around the county. Gifts and grant support from public and private entities, including the Town of Chestertown and Kent County Rotary, also support treatment and recovery programs offered by KCBH.