Master of Social Work alumna, Angela Whereatt, was initially drawn to social work because of her desire to help veterans and those who are experiencing life struggles. Angela’s husband has been deployed with the United States Marine Corps and Angela was able to see firsthand how friends and fellow marines were struggling to adjust back to civilian life, which inspired her to work as a unit therapist at Options Behavioral Health System.
As a current unit therapist, Angela works with people who are struggling with psychosis, mania, or those who are suicidal. Angela works with these individuals on the issues that specifically brought them into the inpatient facility by helping them process longer-term issues and assist them in identifying coping skills to help them with these issues. Angela loves that she has been able to help individuals who have been struggling with their mental health. Even on her tough days, Angela believes that serving others is the best part of being a unit therapist.
In the past, Angela has worked as a school-based therapist specializing in helping children with severe emotional needs. During her time as a school-based therapist, Angela has worked with survivors of domestic abuse as well as children who have survived physical, emotional, and sexual abuse. Angela has been able to empower women in leaving abusive relationships while assisting them in creating comprehensive safety plans, helped homeless people find resources and supported children to find strategies that allow them to interact better with their peers.
Additionally, becoming trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EDMR) has been another accomplishment of Angela’s, along with building a network of diverse resources and people. One of the biggest challenges in social work, according to Angela, is the stigma surrounding mental illness. Angela believes that we have come a long way, but still have a long way to go before mental health services are openly accepted in our culture.
Angela lives by these words: Always remember to never stop believing in yourself or your ability to help others, write down good moments so you can reflect on them on the bad days and take care of yourself; you cannot pour from an empty cup.
Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” – Albus Dumbledore/J.K. Rowling