News & Events

News & Events

News & Events

Tera Murchinson, program manager of St. Illa Residential, and our activity coordinator, Victoria Landis, did a great job sharing information about our programs at the networking event for Georgia School of Addictions Studies 2022.
The Georgia School of Addiction Studies offered a unique opportunity for professional development, information exchange, and networking. The event promoted a broader understanding of response to and acceptance of the process of addiction and its impact in the areas of health, family, community, crime, and the workplace.

As part of the CMHC (Community Mental Health Center) award grant that Unison received through the SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration), we are happy to announce an initiative that will help promote wellness/engagement for our staff. Elke Brewster will be serving as the Unison Wellness Coordinator and will be implementing and overseeing the wellness/engagement activities for staff. Elke started at Unison in June 2021 in the Access Unit and transitioned to Human Resources in November 2021. We are excited to have her in this new role and look forward to the awesome activities she has planned to implement with staff.

Ron Wakefield and DBHDD, honoring Direct Support Professionals across the state and highlighting one of Unisons own:
Debbie Denson- Direct Support Professional at Unison Behavioral Health
 
Debbie Denson
Unison Behavioral Health
28 years in the field
 
Explain what drew you to enter the field of helping individuals with I/DD?
To be honest, I knew very little about developmental disabilities at the time that I was hired. I answered an ad in the paper for Supportive Employment. The job description was to help individuals with disabilities to have access to employment in the community. The goal was for each person to become independent and have the same opportunities as everyone else. I will never forget the first individual that I worked with and the moment he received his first check. Once I saw the excitement and the pride this individual had, I knew then I wanted to become more involved with individuals with developmental disabilities.
 
Describe a memorable experience with a person you are serving?
Over the years there have been many memorable moments of emotions and experiences. It's hard to pick one. I will always remember and still get to experience the excitement of a gentleman that has been with me for 25 years. The first Christmas parade that he went to was 24 years ago. He had such an abundance of energy, waving and yelling at the emergency vehicles to the extent that he drowned out the sirens with his excitement! When it came time for Santa, I had to hold him by his belt loop to keep him from running after the fire truck. This same gentleman continues to show just as much excitement today at all the outings that I get to share with him.
 
As being a DSP is both rewarding and challenging, describe one thing that you do for yourself (i.e., self-care) to help avoid burnout and stress?
I enjoy camping and getting away on the weekends as much as possible. I love the North Georgia Mountains with the cooler weather and seeing all that nature has to offer. Then there's my addiction to online shopping for my family.
 
List one thing you have learned from working during the pandemic may be helpful for others to know.
In working with our group home individuals and facing COVID in both homes, it was the most stressful time that I have experienced. My advice is to take time to breath and not let the pandemic take away the love and joy that you have for the job and individuals in your care. Remember that you don't have to handle everything alone, ask for help. Talk to your supervisor, to let them know that you may need a few minutes or a day to regroup.
Unison Behavioral Health

empowering people to improve the quality of their lives.

Unison Behavioral Health is a leading provider of mental health, substance abuse and developmental disability services in southeast Georgia, serving residents in Atkinson, Bacon, Brantley, Charlton, Clinch, Coffee, Pierce, and Ware Counties. Unison Behavioral Health is not affiliated with the Unison Behavioral Health Group of Ohio.

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Unison Behavioral Health
1007 Mary Street, PO Box 1397
Waycross, GA 31503

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