Marion Calabro, the Day Program Coordinator in Northborough, did a fabulous job representing Open Sky on the keynote panel at the Stephanie Moulton Symposium in Holyoke last week. Sponsored by the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health, the daylong symposium for DMH Provider staff, individuals who receive services, and other community stakeholders focused on direct care worker safety, to honor the memory of a young social worker who lost her life on the job in 2011.
Marion shared what she has learned from her experience in the field, the value of a collaborative approach to safety with direct care workers and supervisors using the Yale Supervision model, and the best practices for solutions to issues that need to be addressed. She emphasized the importance of “keeping the dialogue going” about safety, which includes “collaborating with community emergency services including local police, fire, and psychiatric emergency services. Maintaining these relationships and open lines of communication allows for more fluid intervention when incidents escalate.”
In her presentation, Marion repeated a mantra she still says to herself and coworkers alike, "I cannot do my best work if I do not feel safe." She went on to say that, “the bottom line is if I am feeling unsafe, uncomfortable, and vulnerable then my attention cannot be fully on the interventions I provide to the individuals we serve and I will not be able to provide the quality of intervention that my individuals deserve.”
Click Here to read Marion's entire speech!