May 4, 2021
This Mental Health Month, we hope you’ll join us in an exploration of what mental health means to you and your community. Be sure to check out our social media – Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram, for opportunities to share what mental health means to you, and hear from some of our staff on why this work is important to them personally, not just professionally.
Megan Kress, M.Ed, a Children’s Mental Health Therapist at our Children’s Day Treatment program, shares her thoughts on this topic. She primarily works with students in grades K-5, while also supporting those in grades 9-12.
We all have mental health but what does it mean to you?
We all have mental health, but this field has always been extremely important in my everyday life. I grew up with family that had their own mental illnesses and I also have social anxiety that I have dealt with my entire 26 years of life. Because I went through this growing up, I always go out of my way to make sure that others are heard and that I am an advocate for those that are unable to advocate for themselves. I received my undergraduate degree in social work, where they preached self-care. After getting my master’s degree in counseling, I also preach self-care to every person that I meet.
What enhances your mental well-being?
I enhance my mental well-being by staying active, reading, getting outside as much as possible, and spending time with my friends and family.
What does the concept “person-centered” care mean to you and to your work helping clients?
The concept of person-centered care has always been my number one priority. As a counselor, the person-centered theory has always been my method of choice. I believe that our clients come first, and they have the final say with their mental health. Working with K-5 students, it can be challenging involving kids in their own treatment plan, but extremely beneficial in the long run. It is important to learn how to understand those big feelings and learn/practice ways to safely manage these feelings when they arise.
What does mental health look like when you’re at your best?
At my best, I can have fun and be a little silly with my clients. I absolutely love playing games and staying active while leading group and individual therapy sessions. I believe it is important to also disclose information about myself to build rapport with my clients. The kids I work with know that they can come to me with any big thing in their lives, but also with exciting news and fun activities.