By Katie Wemple
N3- Newaygo County Mental Health has been providing services to the community for the past half century. As part of Mental Health Month we are running a series of articles highlighting the good work that has been done as well as the good work currently being done. In the 6th of a series Katie Wemple, of NCMH shares her experience.
NCMH- 50 years
Sometimes the darkness is so overwhelming that the only way out is to focus on the light. I used to not enjoy people at all. In fact they terrified me as a young child into my young adult years. I have had to work through many different dynamics in my life pertaining to my mental health, trauma experiences, and physical health. I never thought I would be working in the field of mental health. I wanted to be a doctor, then a teacher. Finally I landed in the field of behavioral health. My heart’s work and desire is in serving people. I spent several years searching for something more, and I felt like something was missing in my spirit.
In 2011 I came to work at Newaygo County Mental Health. I began my journey part time as a parent support partner. I was in this position for 5 ½ years. I completed my bachelor’s degree online in that time period while working, being a wife, and a mother to young children. I had an interest in learning more about autism. Opportunities arose and I began a new season joining the Autism team. I also went back to school online during this time period to achieve accreditation in the field of Applied Behavioral Analysis. I was working towards my goal of becoming a Board Certified Assistant Behavioral Analyst (BCaBA). But everything was not all joyful and cheery. In 2014 I began my own mental health journey.
I have a strong faith background, and believe God led me to the right therapist at the right time. Part of my therapy season involved the treatment of EMDR. This therapy combined with commitment, willingness, and God’s grace, changed my life. Therapy is hard work, no matter what level one is at, or what their journey is. Confronting, working through, and overcoming traumatic experiences by itself is a heavy load. I continued in therapy for 5 years, I had a lot to unpack in a sense.
During this time period NCMH was amazing at supporting me and helping me develop not just professionally but personally as well. I had supervisors that supported me in my growth at every level. Even when I took the BCaBA test and failed, not once but twice, coworkers and supervisors gave me support. This was hard for me to fail because I held a self-perception that I had to be perfect. If I was not perfect, then I would not be seen as worthy. Out of this failure I learned I did not need to be perfect, it is okay to fail, and try again, or move on to the next season.
I still felt I was missing something, not using all the skills I was blessed with, to serve others. Towards the end of 2019 a position opened up for a wraparound facilitator. In January of 2020 I moved into the position of wraparound facilitator at NCMH. Collectively I use all the skills, training, and experiences I have learned throughout the past 10 years to help serve others daily. Some days are rougher than others, but there is always hope. I enjoy serving this community and seeing each and every person I work with grow. Healing, and growing take time, but every step in the direction of positive leads one a step closer to wholeness.
Letter to the Editor Policy
Near North Now welcomes original letters from readers on current topics of general interest. Simply fill out the form below. Letters submissions are limited to 300 words.