EK: Around five years ago police training for crisis intervention began -- what is mental health, the biology of it, looking at resources in our community, etc. –- often they get called in, and never get to see people be “well”.
We bring in clients or consumers and family members to hear their perspective. Windsor PD has also been working with schools to do preventative methods. Sometime custody is the way people realize they need to get well. We were able to create a mental health crisis brochure that has been very successful.
SSW: What has been your perspective on this process?
EK: Well, when we work together it always means more funding, and helps to raise awareness. We need to change social policy, where we can work as a team.
SSW: How has the MSW program benefitted you as a Social Worker?
EK: Grad school is giving me a chance to look at the things I am passionate about on a deeper level. I’m glad I waited to go back to school.
SSW: What can you tell us about yourself?
EK: I grew up in Seattle with my mom, but visited California because of my Dad. Just before I was 16, I had a dream and announced I was moving to CA!
When I was 21, my son was born. I wanted my son to grow up in the same community, to have that kind of sense of community and identity, so I have lived in pretty much the same area since I first came to California.
I’m a pretty positive person-- I believe in our community, here in Sonoma County. You hear from some colleagues that perhaps other counties are not as cooperative? But at the end of the day, nobody has any money, and we all need to work together to get the most for the clients.
SSW: Why did you want to go back to school for your MSW?
EK: I recognized within our system of care, for me to move forward. I needed to have a license. I came from working as an insurance broker into the non-profit world of health care, a transitional youth program. Which was helpful, because people sometimes forget the business side of social work.
I knew that this was the right program for me when the Director, Dr. Molidor said to us at orientation that “This program will change you,” and I think it already has. It’s all about best practice.
People like Carl Rogers and Jung bring heart into the system. I want to do heart work.