Mar 1, 2018 | Mental Health, Faces of HDGH
In December of last year, we launched our very own HDGH Blog. The first few blog posts were from myself on topics such as the holidays, heart health and our Pre-Budget Consultation. Each month, this blog has, and will continue to, cover a variety of topics including healthcare, wellness, spirituality, and life in general. It was always our intent with this form of communication that you hear from many voices. I am a true believer in the collective wisdom of our organization. With that, I am excited to introduce a new March blogger – a dedicated, passionate member of our HDGH Family, Sarah Myer, Crisis Worker with our Transitional Stability Centre (TSC). It is our hope that by reading Sarah’s post you understand our downtown TSC from someone who is very much living our HDGH mission each day. Perhaps even more powerful, however, we hope it gives you a glimpse of the beauty that happens when career and passion gracefully collide. - Jan
TSC is a place of many things, new and old. People from all walks of life, cultures, backgrounds, ethnicities, and socio-economic status come to the TSC for a wide variety of things. Much like myself. Working as a Crisis Worker and MSW on the first mental health treatment team to move into the downtown core has been both an honour and privilege. Much like everyday at the TSC.
The day is often filled addressing symptoms of anxiety, depression and wellness, but behind the scenes it’s filled with so much more. Honest, sincere and frank human to human discussions occur by the minute and topics often include suicidal thoughts, homelessness, psychiatric symptoms, health concerns, medication concerns, substance abuse - both prescribed and street use, alcoholism, legal stressors, financial hardships; relationship breakdowns; sexual, emotional and physical abuse both survivors and perpetrators, violence, discrimination, stigma, loss, bereavement and grief; the topics are as varied as you and I.
The TSC is also a place of hope, support and acceptance; kindness, honesty and advocacy. Using the foundation of value and dignity; while integrating multiple therapeutic approaches, the TSC is building a new house of hope; one where anyone can access multiple mental health services in one location. Breaking down some of the structural barriers that create long wait-lists and lose people in the process. The TSC is committed to navigating an otherwise at times complicated system with anyone who needs support. As a new and growing program we are able to evaluate and change as necessary to the ever-changing needs of the people we serve. When you enter TSC you are immediately met with a community agency feel combined with one to one individualized treatment focused supports. A one stop shop if you will. Growing hope, growing services and planting seeds of change is a process we are fully committed to as a team; as an organization; as professionals.
Growing seeds of change has been a big part of my professional journey. I have had the honour and privilege to be a staff at HDGH since I was 19 years old. It’s actually a family affair; as my mother, a registered nurse also works for an outpatient mental health team at HDGH. HDGH has often been a second home to me; as I am not originally from the Windsor area; staff, co-ordinators and managers alike have become a work family filled with memories, laughter, and learning. Originally I worked at the Regional Children’s Centre for almost 11 years, as a Child and Youth Worker on the Intensive Family Services team. As I grew I had the privilege to learn mental health treatment from some of the most knowledgeable salt of the earth people. It was there I learned emotional intelligence, tolerance, and acceptance. As RCC changed, so did I; I wanted to branch out my own understanding of mental health throughout the life span; and returned to school to obtain my Bachelors and Masters of Social Work degrees from the University of Windsor; all with the support of my second home. I then transferred to the Community Crisis Centre where I was welcomed into another work-family. This family taught me compassion, dedication and the value of self-determination. I spent almost two and half years traveling with our mobile team, working in the emergency department and manning the crisis phone line; assisting people in their darkest times to find hope, strength and a seed of change. As a student I focused on community work creating ever-valuable linkages within our community’s non-profit sector and am now able to use these linkages to build stronger connections between treatment and community supports in my everyday work at TSC.
A wise person once said “work a job you love and you’ll never work a day in your life”; another said, “From a small seed a mighty trunk may grow;” may that be ever true within TSC; within the people we serve; within myself.
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