Justin is a Targeted Case Manager at Guild who enjoys helping clients see their full potential.
Q: Describe a typical day as a Targeted Case Manager.
A: With COVID-19, there is a great variation to the typically atypical days. When I came back to case management, I was looking forward to the face-to-face interactions and problem solving with individuals. Starting the day, you check your schedule to know what is coming up, check the voicemails to see if there is an urgent need, and then try to make sense of the two with the time available for the day. Juggling dynamic variables while maintaining a dichotomy of empathy, acceptance, and empowerment while advocating, educating, and embracing potential, with a smile.
Q: How did your career path lead you to your current position at Guild?
A: I have known about Guild since 2006. I have referred individuals to the support and services that Guild offers while working with a different non-profit. I stepped away from the non-profit sector angling towards mental health in the business sector. I enjoyed the experience as there was a focus either on the initial onset of symptoms, or a break at a time that individuals were productively a part of the workforce. Seeing the paradoxical experiences of individuals that experience mental health symptoms gave me a great amount of hope and potential. Longing for the direct face-to-face, I considered the options available in the non-profit sector to work within Dakota County again.
Q: Is there anything a client has said that has stuck with you?
A: When I worked in an adolescent treatment program, a student gave me a letter with knowledge of my impending departure. The letter was exceptionally brief but direct. This young man presented with oppositional defiance disorder, impulse disorder, and reactive attachment disorder. I only share this as the letter stood out that much more in my observation. The letter said: “Please do not ever think what you shared was not listened to. Even when I struggled, I appreciated you. Thank you. You will be greatly missed.”
Q: What do you enjoy most about your job?
A: The opportunity to help people see the potential that they have beyond the symptoms that are experienced. Reframing the experience from tragedy to optimism with a plan that the individuals can implement in their world, ultimately leading to them “firing myself”.
Q: What is something you’ve learned throughout your time at Guild?
A: I walked into Guild with an abundant wealth of knowledge and resource awareness/network, so the answer here is going to be a bit obscure. I have learned that the integration of the various programs, in this particular example the Member Center and TCM, can take an individual’s idea (from their past success) and actualize it to enhance the larger culture of the Guild community. The comic book group opened the awareness of the impact of reading as a thread stitching similarities and interest together, affording diversity of opinion while embracing an appreciation of the craft away from their day-to-day.
Q: What’s your proudest memory from working at Guild?
A: The office birthday recognitions are pretty epic! For a going away party once, I had the opportunity to spice up some deviled eggs with a ghost pepper relish. The departing employee loved them (the idea was inspired by a penchant for that individual eating 2 hard-boiled eggs daily), as did a few other attendees!
Q: What do you do in your free time?
A: I am a bit of a renaissance man that enjoys being active, looking at the world differently, and laughing. I embrace each season with outdoor activities like kayaking, hiking, biking, sports, and spending time with friends and family. Road trips are amazing, and finding a park to chuck a disc is always on the agenda somewhere, someway, and somehow.