WHY EUSTRESSIN'?: AVERY ROSSER
Veterans may be an overlooked population when addressing mental health care. Fortunately, they are not missed by Avery as he serves with the US Department of Veteran Affairs and the Veteran Crisis Line. It was great to sit down with him to discuss how he adds Eustress to his life. Check it out!
HEY AVERY, WHY EUSTRESSIN’?
WHAT DO YOU DO FOR A LIVING/ HOW LONG?
I am a Licensed Profession Counselor and a Certified School Counselor with the state of Georgia. I work primarily with the US Department of Veteran Affairs, Veteran Crisis Line in Atlanta, Ga. I have been in this role for the past 3 years serving as a crisis responder for Veterans, family members of Veteran, and Civilians. Also for the past 2 years have owned a mental health private practice where I specialize in child and adolescent counseling.
DO YOU EVER THINK ABOUT YOUR MENTAL HEALTH IN YOUR PROFESSION?
Absolute! I spend roughly 12 hours per day prepared to talk someone out of suicide/homicide as well as other life challenges. It is imperative that I address my own mental well-being.
WHAT UNIQUE CHALLENGES DO YOU ENCOUNTER SPECIFICALLY FOR YOUR JOB THAT HAS AN IMPACT ON YOUR MENTAL HEALTH THAT OTHERS MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT?
Sometimes it is a struggle to de-compartmentalize when you have the lives of others in your hand.
WHEN DID YOU REALIZE THAT YOU SHOULD ALSO CONSIDER YOUR MENTAL HEALTH WHEN TAKING ON DAY-TO-DAY ACTIVITIES?
Typically, when I notice myself sinking deeper into my thoughts.
HOW DO YOU MANAGE THOSE STRESSORS ON A DAY-TO-DAY BASIS?
I workout daily at 5 am, debrief with my wife and son when I get home, as well as lean on my friends/coworkers for support.
HOW DOES BEING MENTALLY HEALTHY HELP IN YOUR FIELD OF WORK OR ON THE JOB?
It is important for me to be aware of my mental health because of the nature of what I do. If I don't take my mental health seriously, I can't possibly in good faith help those that I serve.
WHAT DOES EUSTRESS LOOK LIKE FOR YOU AT WORK? AT HOME/AWAY FROM WORK?
Sharing laughter with my coworkers, volunteering for additional duties outside of being a crisis responder, and creating wellness activities for my coworkers in the form of working out.
WHAT IS SOMETHING THAT YOU WOULD TELL SOMEONE JUST STARTING IN YOUR PROFESSION OR A YOUNG PERSON WHO ASPIRES TO BE THE PROFESSIONAL THAT YOU ARE?
Follow your own advice and seek counseling for yourself.
ANY OTHER INFORMATION YOU WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW ABOUT YOU AND WHAT YOU’RE UP TO?
I am an advocate for mental health and erasing the stigma about mental health in minority communities. I enjoy mentoring those considering a career in the field. If you have any questions, I am an open book.
HOW CAN PEOPLE CONTACT YOU FOR MORE INFORMATION?