Become a digitalPLUS subscriber. 99¢ for 4 weeks.

Mental health workers deserve raise, too [Letter]

Laws and Legislation

Sen. Thomas M. "Mac" Middleton deserves a round of applause for calling attention to the plight of direct care workers serving those with developmental disabilities ("Senator says he'll block minimum wage bill until state raises pay for caregivers," March 20). He has also long been a champion for direct care workers who serve children and adults with mental illness.

Our workers are literally responsible for peoples' lives. They are the ones who ensure that the right medications are taken at the right times and are the first to notice changes in behavior or health status that may require quick intervention. When a crisis occurs — often in the middle of the night — they are the first responders.

Mental health workers assist our clients in learning the skills needed to be successful members of the community. They work evenings, weekends, holidays and snow days. And all too often they must work two or three jobs just to make ends meet. Direct care workers do not perform a minimum wage job. They deserve compensation in keeping with the responsibilities and challenges they assume every day.

Lori Doyle, Catonsville

The writer is public policy director of the Community Behavioral Health Association of Maryland.

To respond to this letter, send an email to Please include your name and contact information.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
Related Content
Laws and Legislation
  • Do we reward hard work or not? [Letter]
    Do we reward hard work or not? [Letter]

    In regard to Dan Rodricks' recent column on the minimum wage and tipped workers ("Questioning wage law built on the kindness of strangers," April 18), I was following along with Dan's arguments up until his last sentence, "and I thought that in America we like to see...

  • Minimum wage delay a rotten deal for workers [Letter]
    Minimum wage delay a rotten deal for workers [Letter]

    Why does the average person have to wait until 2018 for a raise to $10.10 an hour, but the people running Maryland can give themselves a raise in two seconds flat ("Wage hike, new marijuana bills OK'd as session ends," April 8)?