Elizabeth Herbert, MS, CPRP, received the Psychiatric Practitioner Award from the US Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association on June 10, 2013.

[singlepic id=200 w=80 h=80 float=left]Congratulations to Elizabeth Herbert, Career Services Specialist, who was awarded the 2013 Psychiatric Practitioner Award from the US Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association at their national conference on June 10, 2013 in Atlanta, Georgia.  Elizabeth was nominated for the award by her supervisor, Elizabeth Lacy who submitted this narrative for consideration:

Elizabeth Herbert (Beth) has been an employee at CareLink Community Support Services for over seven years, and throughout her time providing service as a Career Specialist, she has demonstrated excellence in service delivery which is exceptionally deserving of recognition and award.  Beth Herbert’s work seems to be naturally aligned with the ethics and principles of USPRA.  This has been demonstrated through the achievements of the participants of the Supported Employment program where she provides Career Counseling services and the outstanding satisfaction reports from those in services and other stakeholders.  Her implementation of the USPRA principles has been evident throughout her time with CareLink.  Her dedication and effort toward empowering individuals in mental health recovery has not wavered throughout her time worked, but instead it seems that she has been able to hone her skills as a Psychiatric Rehabilitation Practitioner to help more people achieve their dreams.

After facing challenges in efforts to maintain mental health wellness outside of the workforce for a number of years, finding new employment or obtaining a career can be intimidating.  Through the support provided by this nominee, participants have gained confidence needed to not only pursue goals that they once found impossible, but have also achieved those goals.  In 2012, approximately 60% of the people that Beth Herbert supported were maintaining employment which shows the effectiveness of her empowering and companionate support.  This is far above the employment rate of individuals in traditional employment support programs, which is close to 22%.  Participants obtained individualized employment goals that matched their career interests and skills.  Examples of jobs include: Chef, Dog Walker, Janitor, Warm Line Counselor, Cashier, Home Health Care, and Pharmacy Technician.  Some of the participants Beth has worked with have completed degree programs, computer certificate programs, and have also volunteered at local nonprofit organizations.  The people that receive career counseling support from Beth are always reporting overwhelming satisfaction toward the support that she provides:

“I would rate the quality of service I receive as excellent.” “ Beth Herbert has been an invaluable support person for me personally and professionally and is the reason I am where I am today.” (Participant has been employed for several years now and has moved from part time to full time work.)

“ Beth helped me so much when tutoring me for the GED; she gave me such inspiration and should have an award for all the you do.” “ I am so glad she is still here doing what she does, I tell everyone how much she helped me and made me feel I could do something with myself.” (Former Participant discussing their accomplishments.)

“Beth Herbert and everyone at CareLink have been very helpful in helping me get my life back on track and to find a job. Berth Herbert helped me with my resume, cover letters, thank you letters, faxes and interviewing skills. The support I received here was outstanding, and the people that work here are kind, helpful, and not judgmental at all for the clients that have difficult problems to overcome. I am blessed that an organization like this has helped me through all my ups and downs. They help me go back to school (2) different times in order to better myself in the field I am in. CareLink gave me a lot of support in my life.” (Graduating participant who was supported by Beth.)

As it is a best practice in community mental health for organizations to partner together in teams to provide the most effective services, Beth has been outstanding at her ability to maintain connections amongst other providers to ensure a coordinated approach. She maintains connections that allow her to work from another provider’s office at a community resource enter. Her connections with other providers and participant family members have aided participants to overcome crisis situations and keep wellness as they are achieving employment goals. Beth also provides outreach presentations and meetings with providers and those in their services on a monthly basis beyond what is needed for the participants on her case-load. She has worked on these outreach projects to educate others about Evidence Based Practice of Supported Employment, the importance of meaningful employment as part of recovery, and Social Security Work Incentives. She is passionate about mental health recovery movement which is well received by those in need of information and resources. The external stakeholders who meet Beth regularly provide positive feedback related to their experiences:

Dr. Adams a psychiatrist from Human Services is always stating when I meet with him and a particular client how wonderful CareLink is and that Beth Herbert, she does a Wonderful Job.

 Through Beth’s outreach and education efforts, she was able to increase the number of people who were able to utilize Supported Employment in the region from 28 in FY 2010-2011 to 43 in FY 2011-2012. As the program continues to develop and Beth continues her dedicated work as a Career Counselor, undoubtedly, there will be more people who become independent in their community both financially and through less need for mental health services.

 The individuals, who have had the opportunity to receive support from Elizabeth Herbert, have been impacted positively far beyond what is ever anticipated from Career Counseling services. Through her belief that all people can “learn and grow”, as stated in the USPRA principles, truly recovery and hope are possible for those that she meets.