Building a Culture of Trust
Six years ago David Hodgdon, MHRT-c left the world of retail behind him for a more rewarding career in the field of behavioral health. Since that time he has continued his education and is currently serving as a case manager at the Community Rehabilitation center in Belfast (aka Belfast Rehab). The center is a close-knit community of eight individual -- yet connected -- apartments where residents can live independently while utilizing the support of staff who are on site from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day.
The center is a transitional program specially designed for individuals who are transitioning from a hospital-based setting and will ultimately succeed in their community. Each resident is different but the average stay can be one to three years. During that time each individual sets goals and works at their own pace to reach them. Residents are taught about their medications and how it impacts their chemical balance and overall well-being.
“It’s important for me to create a culture where they can feel safe to learn the skills they need and meet their goals, but it needs to be their choice,” said Hodgdon. “I don’t focus on their mental illness. These are talented, creative individuals who have the skills but they just don’t know where to start. If you give them some coping skills and a jump start the rest is all about them. It feels amazing to help these people and I’m committed to doing what I can to improve myself so I can be better for them.”
Hodgdon has demonstrated that commitment time and again. Most recently he was instrumental in the success story of one resident who came to the program very withdrawn and antisocial. With the help of Hodgdon and the staff, the resident fulfilled some lofty goals that included getting a drivers’ license, buying a car, securing employment and a place to live. That journey took two years and would not have been possible without Hodgdon going above and beyond the call of duty.
“Employment is one of the biggest things that can help people with mental illness and this person worked very hard to meet his goals that included landing a job. However, he was very anxious so I’d come in early and drive him every day for the first month. After that he started walking to work on his own. He has now moved to San Diego and is doing great!”
“This is just one example that demonstrates why David is such an incredibly valuable member of our team,” said Michelle Secotte, Program Manager. “He is always supportive to our staff, and encourages clients to meet goals no matter how challenging they may seem.”
What truly makes Hodgdon special is the fact that he doesn’t have a closed mind about what the residents can or cannot do. He encourages them to reach for the stars and helps them get here.