Loni is a Mental Health Practitioner at the new Guild Crisis and Recovery Center, Scott County.
Q: Describe a typical day as a Mental Health Practitioner at the Guild Crisis and Recovery Center, Scott County.
A: Being on the evening shift as an MHP at Guild Crisis and Recovery Center, Scott County, is a beautiful experience. From my perspective, I have the best role! There is not a defined “typical day.” Every day brings a learning opportunity to grow. I thrive as a member of a larger team. The days range. They can consist of co-facilitating groups, de-escalating situations, helping clients understand things talked about in group, helping in the kitchen, or administering medications. It is a daily collaboration with the team to see how we can work together to create our community.
Q: Why did you choose to work for Guild?
A: About a year and a half ago, I heard that Guild would be opening a Crisis/IRTS facility in Savage through a local news source. I had asked some coworkers at the time if they have heard of Guild. The response that I received, multiple times, was that Guild was a great company to work for. It was then that I knew I wanted to work at the Scott County facility. I have been part of the community near the facility for over 8 years. The more I lived in the area, the more I realized there was very little support for mental health in Scott County. I was ecstatic to join a new, ground-breaking program for Scott County and close to home. Unfortunately, I had to wait over a year for it to open. It was a long wait, but definitely worth it!
Q: How did your career path lead you to your current position at Guild?
A: My career path has been, what I consider, eclectic. My experience has been within mental health but in different positions. It began in high school when I discovered my passion for psychology. In college, that passion grew into sociology as well. During college, I worked in a variety of jobs ranging from preschool teacher to PCA to a care attendant in an assisted living facility. I received my Bachelor of Arts in psychology and sociology. Immediately after, I went on to receive my Master’s of Science in School Counseling. At the time, there were significant funding adjustments and my career led me into working full time as a Behavior Therapist with children diagnosed with autism. During that time, I held a variety of roles ranging from entry-level to supervisory. I then began starting my small family. As a family, we decided to switch gears and my focus went into raising my children. I was able to continue my mental health experience by working in Adult Foster Care for three years. It was during that time that I found Guild.
Q: What motivates you?
A: Motivation, I believe, comes from within. As I have grown, the things or values that motivate me have evolved over time. My biggest motivating factor is my children, my husband, and my extended family. Without their love and support, I would not be where I am today. Beyond that, I am motivated by change. I enjoy trying new things, new techniques while still honoring what has historically helped. Taking evidence-based practices and presenting them in new, memorable ways.
Q: Is there anything a client has said that has stuck with you?
A: There have been moments that have been memorable throughout my career. I would say the thing that sticks out the most is when a client or family member says a very heartfelt “Thank you.”
Those moments are the ones that keep me motivated in my career.
Q: What do you enjoy most about your job?
A: The best part of the job is getting to know the clients. Learning from them, helping them learn, and learning with them. The next best part is collaborating with the team to come up with innovative ways to connect with clients and co-workers. Helping to create a community.
Q: What do you do in your free time?
A: In my free time, I hang out with my family. Most of my time is spent with my children, helping and watching them grow, and with my husband, building memories together. I love spending time with my extended family when I get the chance. And now that our children are getting a little older, we are looking forward to starting to travel as a family more frequently.