Staff Highlight: Brandon Baird, LMSW, MPH
Brandon Baird, LMSW, MPH, is a family therapist with the Skyland Trail adolescent program. He joined the team in April 2021. Since then, he has helped many families reconnect and find new ways to communicate and support one another.
As a family therapist, Brandon works closely with everyone on the client’s multidisciplinary treatment team to help coordinate care and keep the family updated on the client’s progress and challenges throughout treatment.
Brandon also leads the weekly Family Program for adolescent parents and caregivers. The adolescent family program provides mental health education and peer support to adolescent families. Brandon received a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Morehouse College and master’s degrees in social work and public health from the University of Georgia.
Why is family therapy an important part of an adolescent treatment program?
Family therapy is different from individual therapy because it examines the individuals within a system and how they function as a whole. It’s so special to me how there is not a simple answer or a “one person has to change” mentality that will ever be effective. The team effort lets the system grow and function to create multiple ways of support. In adolescent treatment, working with the family is important because the environment reinforces healthy and unhealthy functioning, which highlights that it’s not just on the adolescent to change, but on the parents to be willing to modify their behaviors and approaches as well.
What is your favorite book to recommend to families with adolescents?
My favorite book to recommend is Permission to Feel by Marc Brackett. It speaks on how intentional and appropriate identification of emotions can lead to more effective expression.
What made you want to go into the mental health field?
I went into the mental health field by accident. I knew I wanted to work within overall wellbeing, and I then truly found a passion within my internships working in a county jail and with adolescents. This made me feel that I could make the most fulfilling and hands-on impact with the skills I always had.
What is one way you practice self-care?
Sports. Sports has always been my passion. I have a sports podcast, am an avid watcher of sports, and play in recreational leagues year-round.
Do you have a favorite mantra or cheerleading statement?
It’s a good day to have a good day.
What would you tell your teenage self?
Take your time. You will get to where you are going.