For Mental Illness Awareness Week (#MIAW) and in celebration of our staff do, we proudly introduce some of the fabulous staff who work in the Stepping Stones Apartment Program. Currently, there are two Rehabilitation Supervisors and six mental health professionals staffing this vital and expanding program. Community outreach and premiere supported mental health services keep them on-the-go! Their office is called "Glenwood," pictured below. We are tickled pink to feature three of these staff:
- BETH AUSTIN has been with the agency two years, four months; and,
- REBECCA HOWARD for six years; and,
- ERICA LYNN has been at Stepping Stones for 11 years.
What is your job at Stepping Stones and what kind of things do you do as part of that job?
BETH: I'm a Rehabilitation Supervisor. My job includes doing counseling, treatment plans, medication training, apartment inspections, supervising staff and things like that.
ERICA: I'm a Program (Case) Manager. We do a lot of things! My most important and favorite thing to do is teach my clients to be independent and help them achieve goals.
REBECCA: I am a Program (Case) Manager at the Apartment Program. I observe clients as they pack their medications in med boxes and assist with educating them financially and budgeting their money for the things they want and need. I educate them on safety in their surroundings, social skills to communicate with others and building up their support team. I encourage them to continue reaching their goals and becoming more independent in their lives.
What do you like most about your job?
BETH: I love working with the clients. They all have different personalities that make you smile on a daily basis! I also love my team at Glenwood. We all get along well, and bust butt together!!
ERICA: I love interacting with clients and helping them live a normal and stable life.
REBECCA: I enjoy working with the clients and watching them do things they never thought they would be able to do. I enjoy being one of their supports and assisting them accomplishing these things, no matter how big or small.
What's something that others might not know about you? What do you like to do in your free time?
BETH: I have a 14 year old son, a 13 year old stepson, and a 26 year old stepdaughter, along with two beautiful grandchildren. I have three dogs, one cat, one lizard, one snake, and a sugar glider! We love all animals at my house! In my spare time, I like to take drives to see the leaves changing. I also enjoy boating, cars, and tattoos!
ERICA: I love to read shop and watch crime shows. Outside of work, I enjoy alone time and I love dogs.
REBECCA: I love spending my free time outdoors. I enjoy camping and hiking with my husband and kids. We also really enjoy traveling around the country and enjoying "the outdoors" in new places. I have three pets: a German Shepherd/Husky named Bear Bear and a cat named Oliver. My 4 year old daughter also just talked us into getting her a fish, in which she named Mr. Wiggles.
What's a favorite stress buster?
BETH: Walking in my neighborhood and playing "Pokemon Go" with my boys!
REBECCA: Shopping (even if it is just window shopping).
What things are you doing during the pandemic to take care of mental health?
BETH: Leave work at work! Getting fresh air during the day, even if it's just for 5 minutes. Coffee also improves my mental health!!
ERICA: During this pandemic, I'm sure we all have increased symptoms and failed mental health. I have found myself meditating reading and taking lots of bubble baths and drinking calming tea which always helps.
REBECCA: I just try to get out of the house as much as possible and find things to do with little to no people. I like to go for walks, find new state parks and go for good hikes. We have also been camping a few times, which can make for a nice weekend getaway!
What's something we can do to bust stigma about mental illness?
BETH: Inform, Inform, Inform!! The proper knowledge and insight about MI can go a long way!
ERICA: One stigma about Mental Illness to bust is when people assume a person with a mental illness is not able to live a normal life or that they can't accomplish goals and be successful.
REBECCA: Keep advocating and educating others on mental illness. Also sharing success stories of those with mental illnesses.