by Terry Rogers
One issue faced by families and friends of someone dealing with substance abuse, mental illness or other matters that could impact the community is finding the resources that can help them cope with the problem. Brandywine Counseling and Community Services offers a non-treatment oriented “safe place” which allows those suffering to “just be.”
“Programs such as Milford’s Drop-In Clinic benefits families by providing peer support,” Adar Wells, Director of Treatment, said. “The program is run by those who have experience in their own families and who understand what it is like to need support and guidance from someone relatable. Because those working in the clinic understand what it is like to deal with substance abuse, mental illness or just need community resources, families are often more comfortable coming to us and asking for help.”
Milford Police Chief Kenneth Brown talked about the benefits of the program at a recent City Council meeting. He explained that having a location where police can take an individual who could become a danger to themselves or others due to mental illness or substance abuse has made the job of the police department much easier.
“We can bring someone to them at any time,” Chief Brown said. “Many times, these people are homeless due to their condition. The Drop-In Clinic provides them with food, a shower and someone they can talk to as well as resources that could help them with housing, employment and other matters that may make a huge difference in their lives.”
Members of the public can access and utilize the service, Wells explained. The DIC is open to the public from 7 AM to 7 PM. In addition, Brandywine offers a Warm-Line which provides peer-to-peer support 24 hours a day.
“The DIC and Warm-Line goals are to improve overall quality of life for participants of the center by linking them to appropriate services,” Wells said. “These may be entitlements, referring them in need of treatment to mental health and substance abuse treatment centers, hygiene products, showers and laundry services. Our long-term goal is to reduce hospitalizations and homelessness in the community. Our services also benefit the police department by meeting basic human needs. This stabilizes the family and we feel could eventually reduce non-emergency calls to the police.”
In addition to the services offered at Brandywine, families benefit from community and partner donations, such as food, clothing and shoes.
“The DIC is a safe place for community members to just be,” Wells said. “It is a place where individuals and families can ask for help from a peer who can identify with their situation.”
Anyone who would like more information about the DIC, Warm-Line or other services offered by Brandywine Counseling and Community Services can contact 302-521-9417.