For Mental Illness Awareness Week (#MIAW) and in celebration of our staff do, please meet three clinical staff at Stepping Stones!
- Brooke Engberg 2.5 years (Group Homes)
- Jenny Stranc 12 years (River North)
- Chris Clark: Over 15 years (Apartment Program)
What is your job at Stepping Stones and what kind of things do you do as part of that job?
BROOKE: I am a Rehabilitation Supervisor. I supervise two group homes, one which houses DCFS males in care.
JENNY: My job at Stepping Stones is "Night Patrol" at River North. I do bed checks and make sure our clients are safe. I do cleaning in the common areas. I report any incidents that might happen during the night. I also help any clients if needed.
CHRIS: I'm a Program (Case) Manager for the Apartment Program. We often say we are jack of all trades and wear many hats in regard to our duties. The most important is teaching individuals to be as independent as possible in all areas of their life and gaining confidence that they can achieve this. Provide emotional support and skills to individuals who may be struggling whether it is with symptoms, a troubling time, or relationships. Assist with securing and maintaining benefits, housing, networking with other agencies throughout Rockford area to provide support and needs situations. Build skills in the area of managing funds, balancing, budgeting, paying bills. Build skills in medication management, identifying the important role that medication can play to assist with recovery process. Provide support in are of physical health, teaching the importance this plays in mental health.
What do you like most about your job?
BROOKE: Being a part of something that will follow the clients for the rest of their life as they progress through life and gain stability over their illnesses. To be a constant in lives where that is rare.
CHRIS: What I like most about my job here is interactions with those we serve. Watching them achieve goals that they may have not thought possible. Hearing from individuals that have achieved goals and moved on and listening to their success stories. The wonderful co-workers I work with if not for supporting each other and teamwork it would not be possible.
What's something that others might not know about you? What do you like to do in your free time?
BROOKE:I love Harry Potter, Cats, Fishing, and refurbishing antiques.
JENNY: In my free time I like to spend time with my family, order a meal and watch a funny movie and just relax.
CHRIS: I am a huge Wizard of Oz fan but did you know I have and Ox Christmas tree?
What's a favorite stress buster?
BROOKE: Working out and fishing.
CHRIS: Favorite stress buster is being outdoors when possible. Spending time with family catching up, fishing and sitting around a campfire.
What things are you doing during the pandemic to take care of mental health?
BROOKE: Play board games with my kids and spending as much time near the water as possible.
CHRIS: Reminding myself daily of the blessing I have in my life.
What's something we can do to bust stigma about mental illness?
BROOKE: Mental illness is as significant an illness as any other physical ailment. It should be given the respect that diabetes, heart conditions, stomach ailments, and other physical condition would. The brain is an organ, this is the illness that infects that.
JENNY: The things we can do to bust stigma is educate ourselves, listen, have empathy about mental illness and substance use disorder, and treat everyone with dignity and respect.
CHRIS: Continue to communicate and educate! Share stories, share successes, take away the fear and shame that others may still have.
Pictured: Chris Clark circled, with the Apartment Program team), Brooke Engberg and fish, Jenny Stranc.