Michelle Edwards has long known she wanted to go into the mental health field. She has an older brother with schizophrenia, and walking with him on his journey inspired her to enter the field.
“You hear about the stigma and how there’s no support,” she said, “I want to help people with mental illness and break down that stigma.”
“There is great communication and you are able to learn a great deal from fellow colleagues.”Michelle Edwards
While she was still in college, she had the opportunity to start her professional career early — as a Mental Health Technician at Oaklawn, The Children’s Campus in Mishawaka. As an MHT, Michelle was an integral part of the treatment team for the youth at Oaklawn’s residential facility. She supervised youth’s daily activities, tracked important information in electronic charts and communicated with therapists, case managers and others involved in each youth’s case. That teamwork is one of the things she likes best about Oaklawn.
“There is great communication and you are able to learn a great deal from fellow colleagues,” Michelle said.
The job can be challenging, but “it’s very rewarding, watching the progress the youth make while in treatment,” Michelle said. “It can also be fun working with the youth directly, for example, playing sports, board games and helping them accomplish their goals.”