Meet the Skills Team: Steve Brown, Psychiatric Rehabilitation Assistant and Driver

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Steve Brown, a Psychiatric Rehabilitation Assistant and Van Driver at our Williamsport Psychiatric Rehabilitation site, started working at Skills in 2019. But before starting as a Skills employee, he was  supported on his own recovery journey by Skills’ Mobile Psychiatric Rehabilitation Program.

“My first love was what Skills did for me,” Steve says. “Now I just love that they allow me to do it for them.”

Read our Q&A with Steve to learn more about his inspiring journey, and what he loves about his job!

How did you end up in this position at Skills?

My career background was construction. I worked as an electrician, and then a roofer, for most of my life. Then in 2000, I became disabled, and I found Skills.

A Skills Drop-In Center opened up in the building where I was living in Williamsport. One day, they had an open house where they were offering free hot dogs, and I went in. That was the only reason I went in, but I met some of the staff, and almost right away, I felt like I wanted and needed to go back there.

From there I was introduced to Skills’ Mobile Psychiatric Rehabilitation program. Once I became a part of that program as a participant and started working on recovery, I was hooked. I’ve come a long way since then, but that’s what helped me first fall in love with Skills.

Then Skills opened the Psychiatric Rehabilitation site in Williamsport. I was living in South Carolina at the time, and Jill [Skills’ Associate Director of Psychiatric Rehabilitation] reached out and said she thought it would be a great fit for me. So I came back and started as a volunteer. Things went really well, and I loved being here.

They hired me to work here, and there was no looking back. I love every minute of this job.

I think what makes me good at this job now is my knowledge that what we do here can work, because it worked for me. I try to do my job like it was done for me when I was a participant.

What do you do at work?

What we try to do is help people with mental health diagnoses live their life in spite of that diagnosis. We teach people how to cope with things they struggle with. I like to focus on how we perceive things, and see if there are ways to change those perceptions. And we do that through groups.

I think I help people believe that recovery is possible. I help them understand what recovery is—it’s not about getting cured, it’s being able to live successfully and to have a fulfilling life, whatever your diagnosis is.

What are your favorite parts of your job?

Doing groups. I call my self a groupie. When somebody comes and tells me that they used something that we talked about in group and it really helped them outside of Skills, I just love that; it’s just very inspiring to me.

Steve leading group.

Steve leading a group at Skills’ Williamsport Psychiatric Rehabilitation Site.

You’re not doing things for people, you’re helping them do things for themselves, and be themselves. And that’s the most important thing. When you see that happen, it’s so rewarding for me. I couldn’t ask for anything more.

Why do you love your job?

Part of it is that it’s part of my recovery. I’m in mental health recovery and addiction recovery, and I need to do things that keep me in a good place. Working has done that for me. For many years I didn’t work; I was isolated in my apartment, and I wasn’t going anywhere doing that. So part of this is for me—it helps my recovery. But I also see how it helps others.

I know how I was helped through Skills, and I see how what I’m doing, and what my coworkers do, helps others.

I believe recovery is absolutely possible. Somebody helped me believe that, and my goal is to help others believe that. It is possible, and it’s a better life. Anybody can do it—it takes some work, and sometimes the work is hard, but anybody can do it if they’re willing to put in the effort.

My first love was what Skills did for me. Now I just love that they allow me to do it for them.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row row_height_percent=”0″ overlay_alpha=”50″ gutter_size=”3″ column_width_percent=”100″ shift_y=”0″ z_index=”0″][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_button button_color=”accent” size=”btn-lg” border_width=”0″ link=”url:http%3A%2F%2Fwww.skillsofcentralpa.org%2Fjobs”]Join our team[/vc_button][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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