County Names New Mental Health Head

SNOW HILL – The Mental Health branch of the Worcester County Health Department (WCHD) recently appointed Tracy Tilghman as its new director.

Tilghman has been with the WCHD for 10 years, filling roles such as child and adolescent therapist, clinical director, psychological rehabilitation director and even acting as the director of Mental Health for several months before being officially appointed.

When asked what kinds of duties she would have as the mental health director for the county, Tilghman responded with humor.

“All kinds of fun ones,” she said.

In a press release, the WCHD expressed satisfaction with the appointment, citing Tilghman’s decade of experience as one of the important qualifications that made her right for the job.

“Her experiences over the past 10 years will be valuable to her as she takes on this senior leadership role,” said Health Officer Debbie Goeller. “We are excited to have her take the helm of this important program.”

Mental Health care has to provide a wide array of services to the county. It deals with both juvenile and adult clients, including those who are troubled psychologically and those who abuse drugs and alcohol. As director, Tilghman will have to stay up to date on all of the numerous projects.

“It’s a multifaceted operation,” she said, “and I have to oversee all programs.”

Additionally, Tilghman will supervise leadership teams and implement any new initiatives passed down through the state.

Among the long list of services, Tilghman pointed out the specific interest her organization shows in younger clients.

“We’ve had a school-based program for 18 years,” she said, “with a therapist in every school.”

She added that her department had a “robust adolescent program.”
However, Tilghman made it clear that the organization concentrated on all ages.

“There are usually about 1,700 people involved,” she said, referring to those who mental health services. “Generally, 500 to 700 are children, so an average of 600. The rest are adults.”

Now that she is the official director, Tilghman said her main goal is to continue along the same path.

“I’m just hoping to keep the unit growing,” she said. “I want to continue to use partnerships in the community, like the one we have with AGH (Atlantic General Hospital).”

One of Tilghman’s major concerns is a common one: finding enough funding.
“One of the toughest things is just balancing the budget,” she said.

Tilghman made sure to take a moment from talking about her appointment as director to stress how important her staff was to the success of the institute.

“It’s a really great staff,” Tilghman said. “They’re a phenomenal group that care about their community.”