Professor Beth Mundahl with some of her students from her Keene State College listening to a panel of Brattleboro Retreat professionals
April 23, 2019
The Brattleboro Retreat hosted a group of college students who will graduate from Keene State, and plan to pursue careers in mental health and addiction. The students heard from a diverse range of passionate professionals who are now, or started as, Mental Health Workers (MHW) at the Retreat. The panel included MHWs, an Art Therapist who works with children in the Retreat’s school, an administrator and union official, nurses and nurse educators. Each professional laid out what led them to the field, the experience and training they have pursued so far, many with the help of in-house training towards accreditation as well as tuition reimbursement to pursue nursing degrees.
BDCC worked with the Retreat and Professor Beth Mundahl to design an event as a pilot, with the goal of increasing connections between the Retreat and Keene State students preparing to enter mental health and addiction professions. The panel discussion was designed to illustrate the range of opportunities and career paths available in the fields, particularly at the Retreat, from continuing as an MHW and gaining special certifications in group facilitation and early response, to pursuing a nursing pathway. While the Keene students have been working in the field as part of their college internship requirements, for most this was a first time learning about the Retreat specifically. They were surprised at its scale, diverse programs and units, and the range of professional opportunities available.
The Brattleboro Retreat, the Windham Region’s largest employer, is part of the “Ivy League” of mental health facilities and will be opening a new unit in the coming year which will create additional professional opportunities for Mental Health Workers.
This event was an initiative of the BDCC Workforce Center of Excellence, through the Paid Internship program which seeks to build connections between regional employers and college students. BDCC is committed to helping attract and retain talent, and helping people access career opportunities through training and employment.