By Becky Gennerman-Schroeder, Program Coordinator
In my professional life, I get to be part of an amazing work team. My coworkers and I are often pulled in many different directions throughout the day, and some days we face multiple challenges in accomplishing our work. Regardless of the challenge or the direction, one thing that continues to ring true over and over is that we can count on each other. If somebody needs help, we help each other. The timing is not always right and sometimes there is just not enough time in the day to do the things we'd like to accomplish. But we try. We support one another because we are working towards a common goal of bettering the lives of people affected by mental illness. When we work together, we are able to accomplish much more than just one of us could. Because of this, we are able to strengthen our organization and grow as individuals so that we continue to make a difference in the community and be the best advocates we can.
I saw this same sense of teamwork and camaraderie when I participated in a Crisis Intervention Partner (CIP) training this week. There were more than 50 people who came together from varying fields and different backgrounds, but all with the same common goal of working to improve the lives of people affected by mental illness. There, in that room, I saw advocates hungry to learn new information, skills, and tools so that they can better assist people with mental illness. Their commitment and dedication is admirable and looking around, I was humbled by the fact these people had formed a team in our community.
This concept of teamwork is evident in my personal life as well. My father recently spent the day at our home to help with before- and after-school childcare because of a heavily scheduled day. When I arrived home from work, I listened to him engage in conversation with my daughters and I felt really lucky to be part of such a fantastic family team.
I have a partner who shares my investment in our family and values the work I do. I have family members who lend a hand when they can and are interested in hearing more about the causes that are important to me. I have children who like to hear about my day and always entertain me with stories from theirs. I try to be an active part of this team, to be a good partner and family member, and to raise kindhearted little people who will grow up and want to be part of the bigger team.
As I reflect upon all of this, I can't help but think how important it is that we all take a team stance in both our personal and professional lives. And that we take a team stance to support those who need our help, to advocate for those who don't always have a voice, to improve the lives of those affected by mental illness, and ultimately to try to do the right thing.