“When you don't know where to turn, turn to Maple Counseling.”
(Los Angeles, CA) February 15, 2021 – Myra Lurie, Chair, Board of Directors, Maple Counseling, today announced the launch of the Briskin|Wilder Welcome Center – both a program and a place – designed to fill a critical need in the mental health field. The Briskin|Wilder Welcome Center (BWWC) provides free personalized guidance by licensed practitioners who help people in need navigate the overwhelming and complex mental health care system in Los Angeles. BWWC will ensure that people can find appropriate and affordable quality mental health care, whether with Maple Counseling or an outside agency or support system.
“As Maple Counseling celebrates its 50th year of providing quality mental health services to all, particularly supporting low-income individuals and families, we are thrilled to inaugurate The Briskin|Wilder Welcome Center,” said Lurie. “This new resource will ease the frustrating burden of finding quality mental health care and provide an accessible, affordable road map for the journey to wellness.”
The Briskin|Wilder Welcome Center will be located at Maple Counseling’s new headquarters, scheduled to open in Spring 2022 at 1945 S. La Cienega Boulevard, Los Angeles. The Welcome Center program launched December 2021 and is now available to all Angelenos. More information is available here.
Maple Counseling’s Briskin|Wilder Welcome Center is made possible by philanthropist Judy Briskin, and her son, Rex Wilder, a Vice Chair on Maple Counseling’s Board of Directors.
The story behind this gift began with a terrifying first chapter. Rex, who had never experienced mental illness of any kind, suffered a serious mental breakdown at 62 years old. A family connection got him hospital treatment for a short term, but upon release, longer-term solutions proved near impossible to locate. The process was systemically convoluted. With no clear plan of action on where to go for appropriate care, hopelessness was built into the process. It was an overwhelming task during a time of critical need. Sadly, this is the state of affairs for so many dealing with any mental health issues, along the full spectrum of needs.
Judy Briskin is an exemplary philanthropist in Los Angeles, as was her late husband Bernard, passionate about helping others, especially people who are among the most vulnerable communities. This gift was designed to support all Los Angelenos.
“I am deeply committed to the crisis of mental healthcare as it has touched my life and my family personally,” says Briskin. “I have seen first-hand the significant difference between receiving the right and the wrong kind of help. Sadly, too many in our community do not have access to proper mental health care, and for our most vulnerable citizens there are few options for help of any kind. Maple Counseling shines like a beacon of hope in our neighborhood; it offers immediate support and, without bias or judgment, accepts anyone in need of care. The Briskin/Wilder Welcome Center has been designed as the first step on a journey to recovery, and offers an inviting, accessible, warm and supportive oasis to those in need, right here in Los Angeles”.
The Briskin|Wilder Welcome Center is a natural extension of Rex Wilder’s personal journey. At his lowest point, Wilder vowed that if he made it out alive he would dedicate his life to his vision of a place where anyone could turn to when they had nowhere to go, and no resources available. “It’s a rope to grab when you’re at the end of your own,” he says. He foresaw a place where each person would be supported in finding appropriate care they could afford. Knowing how hard even making that first call is, Wilder knew the shorter the trip from asking for help to getting it, the better the odds for a return to health. The Briskin|Wilder Welcome Center was designed to facilitate finding a quick and appropriate response to any person’s mental health needs.
"Mental illness is an equal opportunity experience,” Wilder says. “It doesn't play favorites. Our specialty at Maple Counseling is for the people who don't have equal resources, to give them the support they need to respond and recover.”
Maple Counseling has been providing affordable pay-what-you-can mental health care services to the greater Los Angeles community for 50 years, and the Welcome Center is already making a significant difference.
“More and more, it’s the responsibility of the individual to persistently advocate for proper care, and not all individuals are treated equally throughout the process,” said Varina Bleil, Executive Director of Maple Counseling. “The Briskin|Wilder Welcome Center offers equitable care for all Angelenos, so those in need of help are supported from the very first courageous step of reaching out. We’re already witnessing the need for this resource and the huge impact this is having on the greater community.”
"You are such a breath of fresh air, thank you for helping me sort out our next steps." - client referred to the Briskin|Wilder Welcome Center for case management
"You’re really an angel. Not that many people put forth this type of effort to help and I haven’t even paid you anything." - client referred to the Briskin|Wilder Welcome Center for case management
For those seeking mental health care for themselves or a loved one in Los Angeles County, it can seem near impossible to know where to turn to for relief from mental health needs.
The Briskin|Wilder Welcome Center (BWWC), staffed by licensed therapists and social workers, allows Maple Counseling to better meet unique clinical needs and circumstances, increase follow-up support, and meet Maple Counseling’s commitment to help every single person who reaches out in a time of need. The BWWC staff will help navigate the complex mental health system, something that is often an insurmountable task for someone experiencing mental health needs, so that each person or family finds the right services for them that they can afford. BWWC staff will then manage each individual case as far as needed or Maple Counseling’s resources allow. People may contact the Briskin|Wilder Welcome Center by calling 310-271-9999.
Scheduled to open in Spring 2022, the Briskin|Wilder Welcome Center is designed to be a nurturing place of wellness and guidance, where the community can convene. Prospective clients can be supported at the Center through the intake process, and for those seeking mental health services or direction, the resources they need can be found by licensed practitioners who understand the complexity of options available in Los Angeles County.
About Maple Counseling
Maple Counseling is a critically needed resource for people in Los Angeles County and beyond. For almost 50 years, Maple Counseling has been one of the few low-fee counseling services available, where people pay what they can afford. The mission of Maple Counseling is to provide low-cost comprehensive mental health services to individuals of all ages, couples, and families, and to provide training for graduate and postgraduate students who are working towards licensure in the mental health field. Maple Counseling offers treatment for depression, anxiety, trauma, grief and loss, stress, and relational problems, among other mental health needs. Maple Counseling guides clients toward self-awareness and improved emotional coping, with the goal of having a productive and fuller life experience. At the same time, Maple Counseling develops the mental health workforce through its structured program for completion of experience required for licensure as a Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT), Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), and Psychologist (PhD, PsyD). All services are provided by interns working towards their licensure in the state of California under supervision of highly-experienced licensed clinicians. Maple Counseling offers programs to meet the needs of its clients from infants through the advanced elderly. Please visit https://www.maple4counseling.org for more information.
Maple Counseling is temporarily offering all services remotely via HIPAA-compliant tele-health platforms. We look forward to providing in-person services again when it is safe.
If you are interested in seeking mental health care for yourself or a loved one, please call the Briskin|Wilder Welcome Center to determine how Maple Counseling may help you at 310-271-9999.