This quarter, we spoke to Erin Wilkings, Clinical Supervisor for Calvert Center for Change (formerly Crisis Intervention Center) with Calvert County Behavioral Health, to learn more about the services they provide in Calvert County. Visit their website here.
What makes the Calvert County community special?
Calvert County is special because we are a small, fairly rural county. We are a close-knit community and many of our organizations work very closely together. It is easy to reach out to other organizations to see what resources are available. Our program is special because we operate within the Calvert County Health Department, so we can also refer clients within our organization for wrap around services.
Tell us about the Crisis Intervention Center's current community sexual assault prevention efforts.
Calvert Center for Change underwent several changes during the pandemic, including leadership and staffing. Once I came on board, we focused on our rebranding efforts and collaboration with other Health Department entities, such as Calvert Crisis Response and the Mobile Crisis Team. We are working to get back into community outreach events. We work closely with Calvert County Sheriff’s Office, Maryland State Police, and the legal system, as well as hospitals and other community organizations. We have ordered new print materials and outreach items so we are ready when events restart.
Why are you a member of MCASA?
CCC is a member of MCASA because we believe in the mission to offer compassionate, comprehensive care to survivors of sexual violence. Although we are a small county in Southern Maryland, we recognize sexual violence is an issue throughout our state and our area and we must work on prevention, safety, and treatment of trauma.
What called you to your work?
I am sure each member of our staff would answer this differently, but I previously worked with the chronic mental illness and substance abuse populations. This helped me to understand just how many people have been impacted by domestic violence and sexual violence, as these are common issues within both those populations. I was drawn to the helping profession due to the issues I saw growing up in West Virginia among family and friends.
MCASA prioritizes advocating funding for rape crisis centers. With the rise of the #MeToo movement why is funding for rape crisis centers important? How has the COVID crisis affected the Crisis Intervention Center?
Funding for rape crisis centers is extremely important so we can continue the work we have been doing. With the #MeToo movement, we are seeing many people come forward who have been silenced for years. We also know that COVID impacted many people, especially those who were quarantined in unsafe and unhealthy environments. We have seen an increase in referrals now that restrictions are lifting and people feel safe coming forward to tell their story and seek help. We cannot lose funding for these vital services.