Written by ReDiscover Team Leader, Terrance Dennis:
There is no mistake that working in the business of saving lives can take a significant toll on yours, personally. That’s why beginning late this past year, staff at ReDiscover’s South location decided to be intentional in promoting self-care and wellness amongst staff for a few reasons.
1. As a community mental health organization located in one of the city’s most highly populated crime areas, people need to know that the staff they’re working with are serious about taking care of themselves. After all, it makes it much more difficult to cater to the needs of this population if we aren’t taking care of ourselves.
2. We want to be intentional in prioritizing self-care. Many times, we don’t feel we have the time, resources, or patience to think about the ways we should take care of ourselves. We offer TIC training as a way to refresh and expand our perceptions, yet don’t even realize the ways in which we already do take care of ourselves. Some of those ways might not be as healthy as we think they should be.
3. We want our staff to know that we care about them too. It’s all about support. Anyone who has taken on a human services type job understands that working with people can take its toll. However working with a supportive team can aid in boosting morale, that, “Hey, eveything’s gonna be okay. We’ve got your back”.
This past Sunday, as part of that initiative, staff members at South participated in the 39th Annual Groundhog Run, a 5K race benefiting Ability KC, the resulting combination of Children’s Therapeutic Learning Center and Rehabilitation Institute of Kansas City. There were some moans and groans at first, and much like anyone who isn’t accustomed to running long distances, if at all, the excuses rolled in..”I don’t run”..”Running isn’t for me”…”Can we do something else?”…”That’s early in the morning. Do I have to run the whole thing?”. Nonetheless, we got out and did it! The list of participants included Clinical Case Manager, Merina Joseph; Therapist, Shontel Walker (and her SON!!); Team Leaders, Christin Trott, Flora Washington, and Terrance Dennis; as well as Program Manager, Candi Foster, and South Program Director, Aaron Shore.
The purpose of running this 5K was not only to just get moving, but to conquer some of those insecurities, fears, and reserves against something that quite frankly not many people want to wake up early and do. Sadly, our good friend and client Romi Hall was unable to join us.
After the race, each participant in the Groundhog Run 5K, over a delicious spread of First Watch cuisine, signed up for yet another 5K race on July 12, the Foam Glow Run. Part of this initiative to get moving and take care of ourselves is accompanied by South’s current 60-Day Weight Loss Challenge, where all staff have been equipped with weekly healthy cooking recipes provided by Christin Trott and Flora Washington, as well as self-care questionnaires and workshops that tackle all aspects, not just the physical parts, of each person’s self-care goals and commitments. This 5K symbolized not only a milestone for many, but camaraderie, and what it truly means to be #SouthFit and part of a supportive work environment.
Representing Team ReDiscover (that’s the name we ran under), we were able to represent ReDiscover as a whole, breaking down those “road blocks” we seek to guide our clients to and through. Though we be but sore, we are happy.