Case Manager from our Psychogeriatric Case Management Program
Tammy’s advice/inspiration for others
When first meeting with a new client the process can be intimidating for them. There is a stigma around mental health (which we are trying to conquer), and many seniors struggle with the idea of asking for or receiving help. My first interaction is always very important, and I always tell them that everyone’s journey with mental health is different. No two people will experience it in the same way. I am here to be an advocate for them, and to support their needs. No question is unimportant, and they are the most important person in this very moment. Reassuring my clients that I will do my best to help them and keep the lines of communication open is a top priority.
Tammy’s favourite moment at CMHA
In the summer of 2022 I volunteered to be part of annual camping trip to Sibbald Point. Seeing the clients excited faces when they arrived by bus on that hot sweltering day (we were in a heat wave) had to be the highlight of my year. After 2 years of COVID and finally being able to get back in person groups and the camping trip was amazing. Each client was thankful for the opportunity to be outdoors, having 3 meals provided for them and the social interaction was a humbling experience. Each day I spoke with people I never met before and each shared their experiences of previous camping trips and how much they were enjoying this year. Tye dying shirts, making bracelets, beach trips and a drum circle were the highlights for me. It was my first CMHA camping experience but it definitely will not be my last.
Why Tammy enjoys working at CMHA
My career background has always focused on seniors, whether it be a cook in long term, a laundry aid/housekeeper or working in a food bank. CMHA offered me the opportunity to work first with indigenous seniors, helping them reconnect with their culture living off the reserve, then to become a senior’s case manager with the Seniors Case Management Program. Each day I have the opportunity to learn something new about my clients, and to gather little bits of history along the way. Seniors hold such a vast array of knowledge that encyclopedias and the internet could never capture. There are always struggles but the high points of a client being so appreciative of the smallest things I can do to help them make every day different and interesting.
How the Psychogeriatric Case Management Program positively impacts our community
With a growing population of seniors in York Region & South Simcoe, our program provides clients with the opportunity to stay in their homes and receive the supports they need. Being able to provide resources and referrals for home help, friendly callers for check-ins, and support for them and their families allows our clients to thrive in their communities and remain independent. Mental health journeys do not have an expiry date, and for our clients to know we are there to support them with big and little things is of great benefit to them.