I completed my MHR in 2007. I chose to go the counseling route in hopes of becoming a LADC. The same time I graduated I also married into the U.S. Navy.
The summer of 2007 I began my hours towards the becoming a LADC. I facilitated lifeskills and relapse prevention groups at a facility that received mainly courtmandated clients. I also saw clients individually. Other duties includedadministering the SASSI and other intake questionnaires. The job was long hoursand demanding. There were days I was there from 8am-8pm running groups, writingnotes and court reports and meeting deadlines. All things I was not prepared for, but fortunately had the time to give and enjoyed learning from clientsevery day.
The military had other plans for us and by August I had to leave my new job and begin my new journey in Naval Air Station, Sicily, Italy.
I was able to take my degree and volunteer with the Navy and Marine Corps Relief Society. In this volunteer role, I worked with couples to review theirfinances, create budgets and work together as a team to become financially stable. Though not exactly drug and alcohol work, it did require the counselingskills I learned in the program.
ANATO treaty requiring local nationals hold 70% of the jobs on base. That left jobs for American civilians on the base sparse. I was extremely fortunate toget hired as the base wide Health Promotion Coordinator. In this position I facilitatedNavy wide health and wellness group programs. One program, ShipShape assisted Sailors on the brink of being kicked out of the Navy for not meeting weightstandards. It not only targeted weight loss but also looked at the psychologyof it. I was able to use the counseling skills learned in the MHR program tohelp sailors lose weight the healthy way and make positive mental healthchanges to achieve the goal and keep their careers. The other program I facilitated was the American Cancer Society Fresh Start Program. This program was my favorite because it was focused on the addiction of using tobacco. I was able to use the skills learned and my interest in addiction treatment to helpsailors and their family members quit tobacco in the group or individualsetting.
Since returning to the U.S. at the end of 2011 I have continued to work in the field of tobacco cessation. I am currently the program coordinator for theOklahoma Tobacco Helpline. I went to the Mayo clinic to become a certifiedtobacco treatment specialist and I continue to use my knowledge in counselingand addiction to ensure the Helpline participants are receiving the besttreatment available.
I tell people all the time that I fell into the world of public health. It was always my intention to become a LADC. Without the background I received in theMHR program I do not think I would have been able to be successful in theposition I hold now or to have reached my career goal I never knew I had. I constantly encourage friends who are thinking about returning for a master’sdegree to research the MHR program. I loved every minute of it and I know other students will too.
Paola Klein, MHR, CTTS
Posted on Tue, October 25, 2016
by Stacy Smith