Kelsey’s journey to start working in mental health has been nonlinear. Following attendance at SUNY Purchase for her Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in graphic design, Kelsey worked in communications and marketing for 10 years. She returned to school in January 2020 for psychology, seeking to fulfill a long-held dream of working in mental health. At the same time Kelsey started training and volunteering with a local organization known as WISE which provides crisis support to survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence. Being present with and supporting others during their most challenging and dark moments proved to be personally and professionally fulfilling. Those experiences confirmed a desire to work in mental health full time and Kelsey officially changed careers to join Mountain Valley in June 2021. Kelsey began as a Residential Counselor, then supported the “back half” second shift as a Supervisor for just shy of a year before transitioning into the role of Milieu Support Specialist. To continue supporting her career and education Kelsey is now working towards her Master of Social Work (MSW) with a clinical focus at Boston University’s School of Social Work.
Kelsey was drawn to Mountain Valley because of a desire to work with adolescents. Adolescence is a challenging time for anyone, and even more so if serious mental health struggles are added on. Being able to address these challenges sooner than later gives the chance to improve outcomes later in life for current teens and young adults to experience an enjoyable and fulfilling life. The commitment and courage Mountain Valley’s residents demonstrate throughout their treatment is awe-inspiring, and the clinicians and residential teams are truly passionate about the work and relationships built with the residents. Additionally, Kelsey has been able to develop professionally in numerous ways through direct care work and management in her supervisor role, and with Mountain Valley’s professional development support. As a Milieu Support Specialist, Kelsey gets to work more closely with the clinicians and residents to support their ERP and other therapeutic work.
Outside of the bustling community that is Mountain Valley, Kelsey embraces a quiet home life with her two cats and husband (who is also her high school sweetheart). She finds enjoyment and calm in drawing and painting, kayaking, and hiking in the summertime, and starting more crochet projects than she finishes.