Libby Walch: Saving Lives One Case at a Time
What is a case manager?
Maine Behavioral Healthcare has almost 60 case managers dedicated to working with patients and care teams throughout our programs and locations such as:
- Spring Harbor Hospital
- Center for Autism and Developmental Disorders
- Nine outpatient counseling offices
Elizabeth “Libby” Walch, MHRTC, who works out of our Brunswick office, is one such case manager. For Libby, being a case manager is all about helping people navigate the challenges of life and connecting them to the resources they need.
Typically, Libby's job requires a lot of travel. But during the pandemic she is doing most of her work remotely, using web teleconferencing services. At first, not being able to see people in person was a little strange, but now Libby is very comfortable using teleconferencing platforms.
"It has become as close to normal as it can," said Walch. "In fact, our team still meets 'virtually' every day to discuss cases and work collaboratively, just as we did at the office before the pandemic."
Regardless of the way she delivers service, Libby's days are full and never the same. She works primarily with children and adolescent youth. For example, helping a young adult transition from high school to college or guiding a child through the emotional upheaval of a divorce.
“The world can be very scary, overwhelming and anxiety provoking," said Walch. "Many of these kids in transition are simply not ready for ‘adulting’ and can really struggle.”
One such case included a young adult who had attempted suicide. Libby cited this case as one of the reasons her work is so fulfilling.
“This person was feeling stuck in the middle, trying to deal with all of the challenging family dynamics that can arise during a divorce. My job is to support the child, but that work can be complicated by some of the family issues surrounding them," said Walch.
In this case, Libby was able to engage the child's family and make them part of the treatment plan.
Libby understands that people are complex and those with a mental health diagnosis are not defined by their illness. Her ability to show sincere compassion is one of the reasons why she is so great at her job. Libby is highly-respected in her field and shares her expertise as a mentor to other case managers. Libby's supervisor, program manager Sara Schmalz, especially appreciates Libby's high degree of professionalism.
“Libby mentors new members of the team in a very supportive way," said Schmalz. "As she addresses the needs of her own clients, she is constantly forwarding related messages and resources to new team members, helping them build their own case management strategies. Most importantly, she keeps everyone connected and fosters an environment where all team members feel comfortable asking for help and growing stronger together. We are grateful to have her on our team!"