SUSAN'S STORY

After obtaining my Master’s Degree, I began my post graduate experience as a school based therapist intern at a community mental health agency.  That work was challenging, demanding and laid the foundation for my passion as a trauma informed therapist.  I remained in community mental health and school based therapy for over 10 years.  During that time I was able to gain invaluable experience and completed multiple trainings and certifications in evidenced based therapy practices. As my experience and knowledge grew, I was afforded the opportunity to build my proficiency in a multitude of roles and responsibilities including: direct service therapist, EBP supervisor, clinical supervisor, clinical manager and program development.

 

As a parent of my own school aged children, ensuring that quality mental health services are available and easy to access for children and families feels very personal to me. As a therapist, I have seen the benefit of building collaborative relationships between school staff, students and families to support mental health and wellness. So when my friend, colleague and business partner, Julie Payne, presented the idea of building a school based mental health program in a new and innovative way, I did not hesitate.  My answer was a resounding YES!

 

Since March of 2020, we all have been faced with unique challenges and stresses due to the Covid 19 pandemic.  Mental health needs are at an all time high and the current mental health systems are not enough to keep up with the current demand for services.  Our children and teens are experiencing depression and anxiety at an unprecedented level.  Having to adjust to ongoing changes from school shutdowns, quarantining at home, remote learning and in person learning with masks has been difficult at a minimum.  It hit home for me when my son mentioned that he hasn’t had a “normal” school year in the last 3 years.  It really made me contemplate the long term impact on school staff, children and families. We have all been forced out of

our comfort zones and stretched to our limits during the pandemic.  

 

I am thrilled to be a part of this program that brings me back to my

beginnings as a newly graduated therapist. Incorporating school based

mental health, trauma informed treatment and support for children,

teens, families and schools is what Thrive is all about. 

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