Walden Sierra

  • MD


30007 Business Center Drive
Charlotte Hall
United States

About Us

Walden/Sierra is a local, community based behavioral health 501c3 not-for-profit organization located in St. Mary's County, Maryland. We have been serving Southern Maryland since 1973 through a comprehensive continuum of substance abuse and trauma counseling services. Central to our programming is our 24 hour local crisis hotline, 301-863-6661. This hotline is one of the oldest local hotlines in operation in the United States.

Our programming currently includes a range of crisis assistance and counseling, general and family counseling, and outpatient prevention education and addiction services for children, adolescents and adults. We also provide residential treatment programs for adults at Anchor Intermediate Care Facility and at Compass House. Our services are delivered at four Walden sites around the county in Lexington Park, Charlotte Hall and California; our outpatient and counseling services are also out-stationed in the community with partners such as the St. Mary's County Detention Center, St. Mary's County Public Schools, the St. Mary's County Department of Social Services, and the St. Mary's County Adult and Adolescent Drug Courts.

Walden's primary name comes from the inspiration Walden/Sierra's founders derived from the work of Henry David Thoreau. The second part of our name, Sierra, comes from our history in providing a halfway house for girls. After 23 years, Sierra House closed. The space was then dedicated to meeting urgent needs of mothers in recovery via a program called Compass House. At Compass House, mothers live in recovery from addiction with their children. Compass House is open to pregnant women seeking recovery as well.

In 2008 and 2009, we have received positive recognition of Walden's leadership and work from several quarters. In 2008, Walden's outpatient addictions program led the state in success rates, according to ADAA. Dr. Kathleen O'Brien, our Executive Director, was awarded the Sunshine Peace Award in recognition of her efforts to combat domestic violence. She was also selected as a Weinberg Fellow. In 2009, Walden's Crisis Counseling Team was recognized with a Governor's Victim Assistance Award from Governor O'Malley and the Maryland State Board of Victim Services.

Walden/Sierra is a CARF (Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities) accredited organization. CARF is an independent, nonprofit national accreditor of human service providers. Accreditation from CARF is a rigorous process based on quality, accountability, and an emphasis on the client's needs and choices.

We are also a member agency of the United Way of St. Mary's County.