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Behavioral health specialists support patient recovery

Thursday, June 29, 2023

It takes a team to support patients in their recovery journey. Each issue of the Recovery Times will spotlight a different service area for readers to learn more about the employees who support OSH's vision of hope, safety and recovery for all. Behavioral health specialists provide therapeutic care to patients and are members of the psychology team. Learn more about behavioral health specialist and other direct patient care jobs at OSH.

At OSH, behavioral health specialist Crystal Rutherford said she's found a way to use her knowledge and experience to help others find their way to healing.

“In my previous line of work, all I could do is refer people for other professional help. I wasn't able to be that help," she said. “In this position, I can use the degree I worked so diligently for to help another human find their peace in life."

Rutherford began working at the OSH campus in Junction City in April 2022 and continues to find the people she works with – patients and colleagues – are the most fulfilling part of her job.  

“Being given the opportunity to facilitate and support growth and change in what is often a very tumultuous time for our patients is and was an unparalleled opportunity for me," she said. “Having the honor of empowering another human to process and rise above some very dark times in their life is a precious gift."

Behavioral health specialists are part of the psychology department and support patients through one-on-one and group therapy sessions. They also may create curriculum for classes on mental health and well-being that patients can take as part of treatment mall, a time set aside for patients to explore different activities or classes that support their treatment at OSH.

Rutherford admitted she was uncertain about applying to work at OSH, but every day reinforces that she's found a place where she can make a difference. “You may be unsure about working with this population, wondering if you have what it takes. I can assure you that just over a year ago, I shared those same sentiments," she said. “I had no idea what to expect in working at OSH and the job description can only describe so much. I'm happy to report that I worried for naught. The patients are wonderful. I am valued for my talents, praised for my initiatives and surrounded by wonderful friends and colleagues who take the time to get to know and understand me."

She said she hopes others explore how OSH can help them fulfill their career goals.   



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