10 Lessons Learned in 11 years working at DMH


  1. Whether policies reflect it or not relationships are key. The relationships we have with co-workers both in DMH and outside help us to support our clients. The relationships we have with our clients are paramount not only to their growth but ours as well.
  2. Change is inevitable. None of us want to be the same person we were 5, 10, 15 years ago. We can reminisce about the days gone by but with change is the opportunity for growth, if we choose.
  3. Saying yes to one thing means saying no to another. You cannot embrace everything but not embracing anything leaves you stagnant.
  4. Having friends who understand your work is invaluable. To be able to grumble, complain, rejoice, and laugh about the challenging, demanding and rewarding work in the mental health system is a gift.
  5. To walk alongside someone, hear their story, and offer some bit of help is a gift and a responsibility that should not be underestimated.
  6. Lynn is one of the most unique places on earth. A city on the ocean with a beautiful (smelly) beach, rich history, and vast diversity. People care deeply one person and program at a time. There are hidden gems throughout the city –some services, people, and lots of great diverse food.
  7. The DMH Lynn staff are good good people. They have listened to my rants, cared for me when I had knee surgery, given me grace when I was griping, supported my adventures and the kids I have met around the world.  I have been proud to work with such a generous team.
  8. Kids, adolescents and young adults bring me joy. I love that they still dream and dare to share those dreams. They keep me young at heart despite adding grey to my hairs.
  9. Not everyone understands the challenges of those struggling with severe mental health issues. We are responsible for educating, informing, and giving voice to our clients lives –their hopes, dreams, and challenges to a larger society when our clients can’t yet speak for themselves.
  10. I could never have learned the same lessons about myself, the world, others, in any other place than Lynn DMH and for that I am profoundly grateful.


This is only a glimpse of the lessons I have learned at the Department of Mental Health.


It has been a great joy in my life to build relationships with, advocate for, and walk alongside the clients I have been privileged to serve.



Posted on August 18, 2011, in 40 for 40, Friends, Heart, kids, Social Work, Young Adults. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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