Hebrew name: Elisheva
Currently living in: Beverly
Alma maters: Beverly High School ’08, University of New Hampshire ’11, Plymouth State University ’19
Job: Transition to Independence Process (TIP) coordinator
Favorite food: I like comfort food – mac ‘n’ cheese, beef stroganoff, kugel
Favorite music: I like pop music and listening to Kiss 108
Favorite books: “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe”
Favorite movies: Almost all Disney movies, especially “Beauty and the Beast”
Favorite TV shows: “The Resident” and “Grey’s Anatomy”
Favorite travel destination: Hawaii
Somewhere you’d like to go next: Australia
Favorite North Shore spot: Lynch Park in Beverly
Favorite Jewish person not in your family: Anne Frank
Favorite Jewish holiday: Hanukkah, because it brings my family together
What is your Jewish background?
I went to Hebrew school, and then did confirmation after graduating from Hebrew school. I had a bat mitzvah – we used to go to temple [B’nai Abraham in Beverly] every Friday when I was younger, but we don’t anymore. But I did used to go to temple – we went for all the High Holidays, we celebrate all the holidays, and we still do, but right now I do belong to Congregation Sons of Israel in Peabody, but I only go for High Holidays because I work, so I’m not really able to take time off for other stuff, so I unfortunately go less now. But I still identify as Jewish, and I’m very proud to be Jewish. At work, they just had all Christmas decorations, so I said we need something for Hanukkah, so I still advocate for being Jewish.
Could you talk about your work with in mental health care?
I work for Vinfen, a company contracted by the [Department of Mental Health]. I’m the TIP facilitator, which stands for Transition to Independent Process. I basically help young adults transition into adulthood, so if they need help getting an apartment, a job, education, anything like that to help them become more independent, I support them in whatever they do. I manage young adults from the DMH, so they have some mental health issues, but other than that there’s a wide variety.
How do you help your clients transition into adulthood?
We take small steps, and we do a self-centered program, so they come up with the goals they want to do, and we’re there to support them. We’re not gonna do it for them – we’re gonna support them in the process – if they need a job, we go to places and apply, if they need housing, we can help them apply for subsidized housing, if they need social security, we can help them go to the office and make appointments, MassHealth, we can help them apply for that – so, we just take the steps with them.
Do you counsel them?
We don’t really talk in-depth about the mental health issues – that’s mostly left to the therapists, because we’re not really qualified, even though I have a degree in it, so at this job I’m not qualified or supposed to do that. We obviously talk about the mental health issues – if they sign a release, we can talk to the therapist, so we can have contact with their other resources, but we specifically don’t counsel them.
How do you decide who’s ready to live independently?
If we feel like they’re ready, we can always discharge them. We do have a cutoff at 25, so whether they’re ready or not, when they turn 25, they get discharged. So if they still need help, we send them to other services. But if they feel like they’re ready before, or we’ve accomplished all their goals, we can discharge early, but if we feel like they need a lot of help we’ll keep them until 25. I have had a couple who have discharged because they’re doing a well – they got a job, they got their license back, they’ve accomplished their goals, so I have had a few people discharged.
What made you choose this field?
I always knew that I wanted to help people, and I was told growing up that I should be a teacher, and I almost became one, and then I actually went to counseling when I was younger so I have experience with it. I wanted to improve on the system, so that’s why I went for it, and I was going for counseling and got my masters in it, but I figured out when I was doing my internship that that’s not really what I wanted to do it, so this was a good compromise – I’m still using my skills, but it’s not in an office. Now, I like that I’m able to help make a difference with young adults and see them blossom – when we accomplish a goal, you can see how excited they get. You can see them improving and becoming more independent and confident.