Taking a Moment to Celebrate

August 16, 2023

There is a lot of responsibility that comes with being a community mental health center. It requires us to stay connected to the community to ensure we are meeting the current needs. And it also means providing quality, accessible care close to home. And while I might be a bit biased, I think our staff at Wyandot BHN embody what it really means to be a community mental health center. And I was thankful for the opportunity earlier this month to celebrate everything they’ve accomplished over the past year.

Each year around this time, we shut down the offices early for one day and we gather together for our Annual Staff Celebration. There’s food, games, prizes and lots of laughter. But more than anything, this event is truly a celebration of our staff and the difficult, yet rewarding work they do throughout the Wyandotte County community every day.

The part of this event that stands out for me every year is our SPICE awards. The SPICE awards recognize employees who best embody our core values of Stewardship, Positivity, Inclusion, Compassion and Excellence. This year, we had more than 100 staff who were nominated for an award by their peers. And I get the distinct pleasure of reading through each of the nominations. All of our staff work incredibly hard to meet the needs of the community, but some truly go above and beyond. Take our Beacon Homes team for example. When an apartment fire displaced seven of our clients, the members of this team stayed with the clients in the cold until a bus came to take them to a motel for the night. And then they worked tirelessly in the days after to get new units ready for these clients to move into. One of our SPICE award winners, Mahagany, goes out of her way to meet with her young clients at school, offering extra support outside of her scheduled times. Or consider Ebere, who will spend her own money to buy backpacks or other items that a client needs when they discharge from RSI.

We have countless staff members, just like the ones mentioned above, who take pride in their work and go the extra mile to meet the needs of the community. They walk alongside our clients in their most difficult moments and celebrate them as they work toward and reach their goals. And I am glad that we had the opportunity to celebrate them in return.