Peer Support Training: Tanetta Isaacs hopes her story can help others in their recovery
Trauma lingers and Tanetta Isaacs knows this reality firsthand. Isaacs’ background is in social work and human services, where a little piece of every case she worked on lingered under the surface for some time. Her journey with Monarch started as a person supported when she reached her breaking point.
On a tragic day in 2012, her daughter’s father was murdered in West Palm Beach, Florida and Isaacs admits that this was all she could bear with her life-long struggle with depression.
“I was pregnant when it happened and I stopped working for two years during and shortly after my pregnancy. I left Florida and moved to Charlotte when my daughter was eight months old. I struggled and got services from Monarch for my depression,” said Isaacs.
She recalls how her journey changed once she started getting treatment and taking her medication.
“I definitely noticed progress and I realized that I needed to help myself before I could go back to work to help others,” she adds.
If you’ve ever been on a flight and hear the importance instructions given about putting the oxygen mask on yourself before helping someone else should the cabin pressure change – Isaacs’ experience was no different. She received services from Monarch for four years before applying to work for the organization. She was hired and started in November 2016 as a Residential Manager.
“Before finding Monarch, I was in secret on what I was going through and when that trauma occurred, it was time to let it out. I feel like in the mental health profession, a lot of people are hiding what they are going through. I did, but counselors need counselors - and if you’re secretive and you don’t let people know what is going on with you, then you can’t move on with life.”
Isaacs recently completed the Peer Support Specialist training hoping to share her story with others and help them move on, too. She currently works as a Behavioral Specialist for the Friendship Flight transitional housing program in Charlotte.
“The Peer Support training was very valuable because it emphasized that everyone has a story – and my story will always help someone to get to where they need to be. You don’t tell people what to do in their recovery and you don’t focus on the weaknesses. Peer Support is about the strengths and helping people realize that they can achieve the goals they set with a little help,” she says.
Peer Services Director Brandon Tankersley says, "I was able to get to know Tanetta, and to directly find out about her continued struggle with depression. I was inspired by her understanding of what it takes to recover from a mental health challenge and with Tanetta’s experience as a Behavior Specialist, I am certain that she will make an exemplary Peer Support Specialist at Monarch due to her understanding of 'Nothing About Us Without Us' - a concept we emphasize in the training."
For now, Isaacs plans to remain in her role as a Behavioral Specialist, but will add the new skills she learned and apply it to her work in the Friendship Flight program where she helps people get back on their feet.
“I will assist people with community support like job searching, permanent housing, and making sure they attend all their doctors’ appointments. I understand the importance of recognizing a person’s strengths and focusing on person-centered thinking. This approach can really change how people seek and maintain his or her recovery.”