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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Mental Health Professional of the Year

     Its been over a month since I last blogged. Part of this is that all my creative juices are getting used for my radio show, which has been a really enjoyable endeavor, and another part is that I have had a bad cough for over 3 weeks now and for a lot of that time I've felt extremely fatigued. Its been all I can do to fulfill my daily responsibilities, and those not super well, so blogging hasn't been happening.

          But I've had a lot of good things happen since I wrote to you last. For one thing, I am only 2 months away from completing the MHLAP (Mental Health Loan Repayment Program) that I have been a part of for the last year. As of June 30th, I will receive 10,000$ toward my student loans for working at a non-profit agency in a low income area from June 2011 to June 2012. This is a huge deal and I've been very blessed to be accepted into this program. If you live in California and you are working in Mental Health, I highly suggest you Google it and take a look. It's great to receive extra money for something you were planning on doing anyway! It also helps offset the lower wages that come with non-profit work.

          I have been provided with several additional speaking opportunities since I started my Radio Show that I have really been happy to be a part of. Since public speaking is a passion of mine, I'm happy to be able to hone my skills and get additional experiences. I actually had the opportunity to TURN DOWN some speaking engagements for different reasons, which was pretty trippy! I  never thought I'd get to a point where I would have to be choosy.

        But the biggest honor I have had bestowed on me professionally this year is being nominated by a friend of mine for "MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONAL OF THE YEAR." Doesn't that sound smancy??? Every year our county has an academy awards event for consumers, staff, and mental health centers who have demonstrated excellence. I have participated in this for the last two years as a coordinator, planner, selection committee member, and as a nominator (I nominated our center last year and we totally won!), but I didn't expect to be nominated for anything this decade. That seemed like a designation that should go to really OLD people who have been working in their agencies for over twenty years and have started programs and run things(No offense, old people! I like you and think you should get more awards for perseverance and integrity. ), and really made a difference, not flash-in-the-pan young kids like me who think 3 years anywhere feels like an eternity and are still waiting for Easter, Summer, and Christmas Breaks to show back up again.

     But my sweet friend nominated me nonetheless, apparently believing that getting licensed, starting a radio show, contributing to the county committee on dual diagnosis treatment, and teaching Psychology in the evenings, all while juggling a caseload of 90 clients and volunteering at my church three times a week are pretty amazing achievements for someone who has only been working in the field for 3 years. When she puts it that way, I guess I do sound pretty accomplished. What I actually feel, however, is really, really tired.

    So I am honored to be nominated. I will have mixed feelings about winning, though- if I don't win, of course I'll be disappointed, but if I do win, I think I will be concerned because if MY best is THE best we have to offer, than I feel bad for our clients. Because for every one thing I've accomplished, I can think of 2 to 3 things I've really messed up along the way as well. But that won't stop me from setting the trophy in my office and adding it to my resume' if I win:). I'm honored to have my hard work recognized, and touched that anyone thinks I'm an anything "OF THE YEAR" at all.


  1. Carolyn,

    this is so exciting! Didn't they throw all kinds of awards at you in your BA and Master's program as well? I have never been "of the year" anything. I am so proud of you and you totally deserve it.

  2. Thanks, Sandy:). I wish you could be at the awards ceremony. I don't think you've had many opportunities to get awards for the things you do. I'm sure if there was a Rookie of the Year Kern Valley Drama Society Award, a Kern Valley Professional of the Year Award or a Kern Valley High School Teacher of the Year Award, that you would have been at the top of the list. And I've never won any awards for my writing, nor have I been published. I'm amazed by your hard work and perseverance with writing, and well, with everything in your life. I would also give you a "Lemonades out of Lemons" trophy in the category of "Graciously Handling Living in a Trailer for 4 Years Despite Working Full Time and Making Sufficient Money to Live Elsewhere In Order to Support Your Husband's Childhood Dreams."