For Mental Illness Awareness Week (#MIAW) and in celebration of our staff do, we proudly introduce three dedicated staff who work at a Stepping Stones Residential Supervised Apartment Complex called "City View," home for fifteen men. 

  • JODI JENNINGS has worked at Stepping Stones for six and a half years;
  • JUDY ERICKSON for an incredible 24 years; and,
  • BETSY SANCHEZ for three years.

What is your job at Stepping Stones and what kind of things do you do as part of that job?

JODI: I am the City View Program Manager. I run the City View site schedule and check in with clients to see what they need. My duties include helping the clients set financial goals and manage their funds. I help them work toward the next level of care in their recovery process. In addition to every day ADLs, I provide an ear to listen and a voice of reason. I manage six staff and provide support to them to help them in working with the clients we serve at City View.

JUDY: I'm a Mental Health Professional/Program Manager Asst. My job is to work with clients on their treatment-related tasks such as going grocery shopping, attending doctor appointments, apartment cleaning and inspection and promoting overall health. I run a "Wellness Awareness" group, which incorporates use of arts and crafts as means of building healthy coping skills. We focus on relaxation and use creativity as part of Wellness.

BETSY: I'm the City View Rehabilitation Supervisor. I oversee care of 15 men at supervised living environment and supervise site staff. In addition, I provide counseling to agency clients.

What do you like most about your job?

JODI: When I am not here or have a day off, I am missed by a few of them. It shows that I can and do make an impact on their lives.

JUDY: I hope that I make a positive impact on the clients that I serve. Dealing with the various personalities and challenges on a day to day basis. Helping work towards their ITP goals and recovery.

BETSY: Working with the clients. They sure make my days interesting and entertaining.

What's something that others might not know about you? What do you like to do in your free time?

JODI: I am a mother, wife and Breast Cancer Survivor. In my free time, I spend it making memories with my family and taking as many picture as I can. We do a lot of projects together. I like to create things on my circuit. I have two dogs Bella (pitbull) and Mia (min pin mix). They are sweet and unruly at times because they want to love on everyone.

JUDY: I love going to estate sales, antique shops, garage sales, and I collect snowmen, light houses, and pottery. I love arts and crafts when I take the time to do them. This is why I enjoyed working with the clients for Wellness Group. I have an Old English Bulldog, (Bella Boo) and I just got a new Yorkie puppy, (Biscuit.)

BETSY: I bake – cookies, cakes, cake pops, etc. I have a dog, a cat, 7 fish, 2 snails and 2 aquatic frogs--well, the boys do!

What's a favorite stress buster?

JODI: Cleaning, organizing, projects.

JUDY: Hanging out with my sisters and friends and playing games. Just relaxing at home.

BETSY: Going to get pedicures.

What things are you doing during the pandemic to take care of mental health?

JODI: have done a lot of painting in my home. Family time is my most favorite time.

JUDY: Going out less and staying away from crowds, Social distance and doing a lot of reading and relaxing.

BETSY: Staying in touch with family through phone, Zoom, etc.

What's something we can do to bust stigma about mental illness?

JODI: Every person could use some mental health love, no matter who you are.

JUDY: Encourage the clients to engage in their treatment and strive towards being the best they can be. Help them stay focused on their recovery and assure them of their worth and their contribution to the community.

BETSY: Get to know the person and their story. You will realize that this could be anyone you know and before their illness hit they had a life just like anyone else's. You might have you might have more similarities then differences.

To learn more about Stepping Stones of Rockford: https://steppgingstonesrockford.org  Facebook: Steppingstonesrockford   Phone: 815.963.0683

Pictured: Betsy Sanchez, Judy Erickson and Jodi Jennings