Barbara is a Health Home Specialist on our BHH team.
Q: Describe a typical day as a Health Home Specialist.
A: There is no typical day in BHH! We are a physical and emotional wellness program and charged with checking in with our assigned clients once a month. Sometimes, people are unwell. Our job is to support and refer clients to agencies that could help, such as a therapist, dentist, or primary care doctor. With COVID, we are supporting our clients mostly by phone, which I don’t like as much! Working face to face in the community with our clients, we can see them and their surroundings and learn more about them than in just a phone call.
Q: How did your career path lead you to your current position at Guild?
A: I began working in mental health in 2017 after I trained to be a Certified Peer Specialist. That means I have a lived experience and have worked hard to become well and stay well. According to the charter for the CSP program, I am supposed to be a role model for those still struggling with mental health issues – which makes me laugh because I work every day to stay well, and sometimes am unwell!
I worked for People Incorporated in their outpatient mental health clinic and Crisis Residence. While looking for another opportunity, I was hired at Guild to be a Health Home Specialist with BHH!
Q: What motivates you?
A: Being able to finish a project, and make a difference. I am also inspired by strong, healthy people.
Q: Is there anything a client has said that has stuck with you?
A: “Thank you, and you really do understand.” It is validating supporting someone who is hurting when they say they have been heard. I choose not to share my diagnoses because the symptoms are different for everyone. However, I share pieces of my journey that make sense to that conversation and easily connects with people.
Q: What do you enjoy most about your job?
A: Being able to support people who are just like me! Somedays, I get more from my clients than I give to them!
Q: What is something you’ve learned throughout your time at Guild?
A: Working for a supportive company that understands what this work entails is the ONLY way I can do this work. Being a part of the BHH team who supports me and my work – whether the day has been great or not so great!
Q: What do you do in your free time?
A: I love to read, bake, walk in the woods, and do anything that has to do with dogs or animals!