U.S. Senator Van Hollen Pledges Support to For All Seasons

U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen recently visited For All Seasons to discuss the state of mental health on the Shore. During the Senator’s Eastern Shore tour of agricultural and seafood industry sites, For All Seasons was the only non-profit Van Hollen toured. In addition to For All Seasons leadership and staff, other guests in attendance included For All Seasons Co-Founder, Karen M. Kaludis, Esq., Scott Warner, Executive Director Mid-Shore Regional Council; Cassandra VanHooser, Talbot County Economic Development and Tourism Director; Holly DeKarske Easton Economic Development Director; County Council Member, Keasha Haythe, Ward 1; Council Member Maureen Curry, Ward 4; Council Member Rev. Elmer Neal Davis Jr.; Council President Frank Gunsallus; and representatives from offices of Senator Cardin, and Congressman Harris and Comptroller Lierman.

As the mental health and Rape Crisis Center of the Mid-Shore, For All Seasons serves everyone regardless of ability to pay, providing a safety net across more than 22% of Maryland’s geography. The agency offers a unique vantage point on the mental health care needs of rural Maryland while also serving every county in the state through telehealth.

“Mental healthcare needs are often not met in many rural communities across the country because adequate services are not present due to accessibility to care, availability of health professionals, affordability due to lack of insurance, and acceptability due to the stigma in small communities,” commented Beth Anne Dorman, President and CEO of For All Seasons.

The tour provided officials an opportunity to see how For All Seasons is continuing to address all of these barriers to support its rural community and beyond.

One example shared was how this year, For All Seasons staff continues to work on Hooper’s Island with the seasonal workers there to provide information on a variety of community services. Dorman added, “When it comes to the economic health and development in this region, you can’t have success without mental health services for all of the people. I’ve always said if you care about homelessness, you have to care about mental health and if you care about affordable housing, you’ve got to care about mental health. Seeing how economic development is really blossoming in this community and then being able to tie in the impact of accessible mental health is something that I think people don’t always connect.”

“Thank you for your vision and leadership that has made For All Seasons become such an essential part of the fabric of the community. This effort has grown because the need is there and continues to grow . . . we want to continue to support your efforts in every way,” commented Senator Van Hollen.

“This really is a team effort and you and your folks here are the quarterback of this team. We just want to help make you successful. I really think that your model of having an open door so that anybody who’s in crisis can come through and ultimately, they don’t have to worry about the bill that they will get at the end of the day,” he added.

Karen Kaludis, one of the founders of For All Seasons who was in attendance, recalled meeting Senator Van Hollen when he first came into office, stating, “One of the things that impressed us the most was that you believed everyone deserved to have rights and services . . . We started in the ‘80s with one and a half employees and look where we are now with nearly 100 employees and a budget of over $10 million. But the thing is, we can do so much more and I know we will do so much more. Thank you for keeping your promises and keeping your ethics and keeping your drive.”

This past year, the trauma-certified team at For All Seasons impacted thousands of lives on the Eastern Shore and across the state, delivering 50,000+ critical services. For All Seasons continues to grow with offices in Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Talbot, and Queen Anne’s counties and through telehealth.

Senator Van Hollen’s visit comes at a time when For All Seasons has requested substantial financial support from the state and Federal government through capital budget inclusions, local bond initiatives, and congressionally directed spending to support the agency’s facilities.

“As we grow, we are looking for creative ways to meet the increased demand on our facilities and staffing. In our current facilities, we have run out of space and need to expand our physical presence to continue meeting the level of need in our community. That’s why support from our Federal and state leaders is so important. We can’t show up for our community without the support and investments of our public partners. Having Senator Van Hollen and other officials visit our agency gave us a unique opportunity to tell that story and look for new ways we can collaborate,” added Dorman.

For All Seasons provides the highest quality mental health and victim services to children, adults, and families across Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Services are offered in both English and Spanish and include therapy, psychiatry, victim advocacy, 24-hour crisis hotlines, outreach, and community education. For information about For All Seasons walk-in hours, contact For All Seasons at 410-822-1018 or visit ForAllSeasonsInc.org.