WHY EUSTRESSIN'?: GARY "Trey" TAYLOR
Trey is the homie from VA. We connected years ago as we shared a passion to address mental health, especially coming from small towns. Now he’s making moves in the field and adding Eustress to his daily lifestyle. Check out how!
HEY TREY, WHY EUSTRESSIN’?
WHAT DO YOU DO FOR A LIVING/ HOW LONG?
I am a Master's Level Social Worker by profession, working on my licensure. I recently just left the position of a Crisis Therapist and now currently serve as a Care Coordinator in a Substance Abuse clinic. I have served the field of Mental Health for several years in various settings.
I also am a Mental Health Advocate and launched a consulting business, Uphold 31:8, LLC, dedicated to providing training, education, awareness and resources to businesses, schools and community groups.
DO YOU EVER THINK ABOUT YOUR MENTAL HEALTH IN YOUR PROFESSION?
Pretty frequently. The new position was the direct result of managing my Mental Health. I needed more stability and less intense work. After working in the field for awhile you develop a routine to manage your Mental Health in every aspect of your life. It is always necessary to adjust those routines as life is constantly changing, so you have to be open.
WHAT UNIQUE CHALLENGES DO YOU ENCOUNTER SPECIFICALLY FOR YOUR JOB THAT HAS AN IMPACT ON YOUR MENTAL HEALTH THAT OTHERS MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT?
Working within the mental health systems can be very demanding. Assessing individuals for hospitalization when there are no outpatient providers available and having to place individuals into hospitals voluntarily or involuntarily can be exhausting. Also while in the middle of assessments having to educate other healthcare providers about the role of a crisis therapist and the policies related to it can take it's toll. This piece is more difficult than the assessment itself.
When did you realize that you should also consider your mental health when taking on day-to-day activities?
In my first position as Mental Health Tech on an inpatient unit. It was probably a year into the position when I realized I needed to consider my Mental Health. It was in my second year as a Crisis Therapist I realized, I really needed to take care of my Mental Health. I was not sleeping well and then I also started to get chest pains. I had a lot of stressors going on including being a newlywed, soon to be father and working multiple shifts in Crisis.
HOW DO YOU MANAGE THOSE STRESSORS ON A DAY-TO-DAY BASIS?
Well the major decision I made was switching positions.. I realized I needed a set schedule to manage my day to day activities. While in my former position, learned to say "No" and not take on more work when I am already exhausted. That was major for me especially since I love to work through my exhaustion. I used more of my leave, traveled and took Mental Health days. I also set firm boundaries in my career, personal life and community life. I rarely take any of my work home and have designated times when I work on my business and community work. All things must cease when I switched roles into husband and father.
HOW DOES BEING MENTALLY HEALTHY HELP IN YOUR FIELD OF WORK OR ON THE JOB?
If I am not, operating in a great mental space, or mentally healthy it trickles in to my work. It helps maintain my level of compassion, and empathy when working with clients. It also helps fight against the build up stress, If I am taking care of myself appropriately day in and day out.
WHAT DOES EUSTRESS LOOK LIKE FOR YOU AT WORK? AT HOME/AWAY FROM WORK?
Eustress for me is family time, chilling with my wife, and playing with my daughter. I love to coach basketball and play basketball. I enjoy collecting sneakers along with customizing my car. I also enjoy podcasting, I have a show called The Backwoodz Podcast with my wife and cousins, go follow! that I vent out my thoughts on social issues and any other random things.
At work, I enjoy a good smooth cup of coffee, I have a podcast playing that takes my mind off of work or play music. The main lights are always low in my office after meeting with client, creating a very therapeutic and mellow mood.
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?
Create firm boundaries around work/life balance, there is plenty of work to do. Simply put, "You can not pour anything out of an empty cup."
Any other information you want people to know about you and what you're up to?
You Good Fam?: An analysis of Mental Health in the Black Community Link
The Backwoodz Podcast and Black Men Anonymous on iTunes, Spotify and AnchorFM.
Also check out my website www.uphold318.com for updates on events, consulting and shirts!
HOW CAN PEOPLE CONTACT YOU FOR MORE INFORMATION?