Stacia Briggs thought the hardest part of her job as a Mental Health Technician would be working with youth with aggressive behaviors. As it turns out, she says, that’s the easy part.
“The most challenging part of this job is knowing the youth have so much potential to do so much better, but they don’t recognize it.”
Fortunately, she’s also seen many youth who not only successfully complete treatment, but also go on to lead better lives at home or in the community.
“At the medallion (a closing ceremony), they go around and tell staff how they impacted their lives,” she said. “Hearing them tell me, ‘Thank you, Miss Stacia, for helping me do this,’ or getting a call from a youth who’s been discharged and hearing them tell me how good they’re doing makes me feel like my job is not in vain.”
Briggs has always loved working with youth, and didn’t know that residential treatment facilities like Oaklawn even existed until she applied. Briggs started at Oaklawn almost three years ago as a Mental Health Technician, providing direct care to youth. Since then, she’s been promoted to Program Coordinator, overseeing and supporting other MHTs as they learn healthy and therapeutic ways to interact youth. She enjoys that every day is different.
“Some people can have office jobs and you know exactly what you’re going to walk into every day,” she said. “My day is not the same. Every day is something different. I like the people I work for, the people I work with. I like that it’s diverse here. You get to meet a lot of people.”
She does have a word of caution for would-be employees: If you’re just looking paycheck, this isn’t the job for you. “But if you want to feel like you’re impacting somebody’s life, if you like a job where you want to feel good about doing something, then you should apply.”