This month’s hidden hero is Carmen Persaud from CORE Treatment Services, Inc. Speaking of behavioral health warriors, it is beautiful to meet people who are truly passionate about what they do. Carmen started her career working with at-risk youth which led her to pursue a career in therapy. Soon after she became an outpatient psychotherapist and advanced her certification as a Clinical Substance Abuse Counselor allowing her the opportunity to write and assist in running a treatment program for a residential substance abuse treatment program. Her passion eventually steered her to co-found CORE Treatment Services, Inc with Chris Gilbert!
“Carmen is a very kind, caring, and compassionate person. She is always willing to go the distance to help anyone she can. She is very understanding with people who struggle with Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder. She has the skills to know how to handle them with kid gloves. She is very well educated and uses that to develop her team. I am so grateful to be on Carmen's Management Team at CORE. I have learned so much from her and continue learning every day! She is amazing! She truly is my Hero!” - Tammi Henning, Finance Manager at CORE Treatment Services, Inc.
How did you get into the behavioral health industry?
I’ve always had the desire to help others. When I started college, I really thought I wanted to be a teacher, but life has a funny way of showing us different paths. I ended up working in behavioral health, teaching job skills to adults with disabilities and chronic mental illnesses and I loved it!
knew I had found the right path and continued to explore different facets of the behavioral health field. I’ve had the opportunity to take on various roles within the behavioral health community which allowed me to analyze my strengths, weaknesses, and desires. This led me to clinical work and revealed my passion for someday running my own behavioral health agency.
What is your WHY for working in behavioral health?
People are fascinating. I believe that we are all capable of guiding our own ship, but we sometimes need help doing so. I always tell my kids, “Make life work for you, not the other way around!” My WHY is that I want this world to be a better place and I want others to be able to empower themselves to always do their best.
Learning the skills to navigate life can be an altering experience and can lead to longer-term change. Life is hard enough, let’s love one another and help one another to make it a little easier. I believe counseling is the hidden treasure we are all offered, but few take advantage of it. It can be life-altering.
What was the moment you realized you love what you do?
I struggle with this question because I have loved every day that I have been able to work in this field. I think when the doors were open to CORE was when I realized that I had done what I had previously only dreamed of. It has allowed me to be a witness to people changing before my eyes. I also work with some amazing people that make every day an amazing journey. I am thankful for the opportunity to live out my dream.
What are your wins or accomplishments that keep you motivated?
Running a Behavioral Health organization has been the biggest accomplishment of my career. I am fortunate enough to have several moments that keep me motivated because I not only get to work with some incredible professionals, but I also get to interact with clients. Having employees tell you that CORE Treatment Services is the best place they’ve worked and that they feel appreciated keeps me doing my best every day. However, the most rewarding win is when clients have transformed their lives for the better when you see them thriving and they can tell you how much they appreciate your organization. We are a vessel to allow people a safe space to heal, recover, grow, and change. They do the hard work, and we can see them evolve. It's hard not to be motivated in that environment.
What have you learned throughout your career that has impacted your personal life and how you navigate through your personal self-care?
I have learned so much throughout my career! Teaching and guiding others to care well for themselves has allowed me to do the same for myself. Sometimes caring for others can be consuming and learning to take the time you need to recharge can be very uplifting. Carrying the weight of others is a side effect of work in behavioral health. It took me years to learn how to manage my self-care in order to lessen the impact that had on me. As a seasoned counselor, I feel that I have mastered the skill of caring for myself in order to care for others.
We are highlighting our hidden heroes monthly! Have someone in mind?
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