Crestwood Employee Center

May is Mental Health Awareness Month!

It’s Mental Health Awareness Month and we thank YOU for being a hero in behavioral health! Each day, you show up to help our persons served, your fellow staff members, and our communities. Whether it’s preparing meals, facilitating groups, washing sheets, coming up with recreational activities, coordinating IDTs, educating staff, balancing budgets, or opening new campuses, we are all vital members of the Crestwood family. You play a part in our mission of providing care for individuals with mental health challenges. It’s not an easy task, but it is rewarding. We get to witness recovery in action every day! From someone struggling to get out of bed to attend groups, to becoming a certified Peer Support Specialist and sharing the hope of recovery, we get to see transformation take place and we get to play a part in it! This Mental Health Awareness Month, we hope you know how grateful we are for each one of our Crestwood family members, and we hope you feel a great sense of accomplishment in the work you’re doing. We deeply appreciate you!

Viva La Evolution Podcast featuring Lori Ashcraft and Raul Almazar

2024 is the year Crestwood is focusing on Trauma-Informed Approaches across our organization and it is being highlighted in our training and events.

As part of honoring Trauma-Informed Approaches, along with May as Mental Health Awareness Month, we are excited to bring to you a Viva La Evolution Podcast, hosted by Lori Ashcraft, a Crestwood Recovery Resilience Solutions (CRRS) Team Consultant, and featuring Raul Almazar, our Trauma-Informed Consultant. This podcast is the newest edition in the CRRS Viva La Evolution Podcast series that talks about growth, change, and transformation.

In this podcast, Raul tells his story and the history of Trauma-Informed Approaches; describes how the six strategies can be implemented and how this impacts the persons served, as well as the organization; describes how trauma impacts life; and how we can support ourselves and others in our work and in our communities.

Click here to watch or listen to Viva La Evolution #34 featuring Raul Almazar!

Click here to watch or listen to more Viva La Evolution episodes!

National Nurses Week: May 6-12

National Nurses Week begins May 6 and ends May 12. This year’s theme is “Nurses Make the Difference” and, according to the American Nurses Association, “honors the incredible nurses who embody the spirit of compassion and care in every health care setting.” Crestwood thanks our wonderful nurses for the extraordinary care you are providing and for your dedication. We recognize the tireless hours, endless encouragement, patience, and daily sacrifices you make to do amazing work for our persons served. You are truly appreciated, and we celebrate you this week and all year long!

Compassion Fatigue & Compassion Satisfaction

Compassion is one of our closely held values at Crestwood, and it impacts the work we do every day. There’s no doubt you can find some of the most caring and compassionate people working in the field of behavioral health. For many, their profession is a calling, and they do their jobs exceedingly well. However, consistently caring for others can take a toll on our own emotional, physical, and mental health. Compassion fatigue is a very real issue in this field of work, which is why it is important to nurture our self-care and take preventive measures to be our most resilient selves.

Symptoms of compassion fatigue can include exhaustion, disrupted sleep, anxiety, headaches, stomach upset, irritability, numbness and emotional disconnection. While compassion fatigue is different from burnout, the symptoms can be similar. Burnout is feeling drained from everyday stressors, while compassion fatigue is the strain of feeling for another’s pain.

The best way to counteract compassion fatigue is by truly taking care of yourself. You’ve heard the saying, “you cannot pour from an empty cup.” Good self-care means developing a daily routine of getting enough sleep, eating healthy, being physically active, connecting with your support system, and taking time to relax. Meditation, mindfulness, gratitude, yoga, deep breathing, and spending time in nature are also good practices to lessen the symptoms of compassion fatigue. Revisit your WRAP (Wellness Recovery Action Plan) to see which of your wellness tools helps you most in this area and be open to trying new ideas to aid in your wellness journey.

Just as we can experience compassion fatigue, we can also experience compassion satisfaction, which is the positive emotion that stems from helping others. When our role feels meaningful; when we feel positively about our colleagues and our work environment; and when we feel that we are making a difference for the greater good, we experience compassion satisfaction. So celebrate the small wins. Stay positive. Focus on the good. It is possible to be a compassionate person and also take good care of yourself. For some additional resources on self-care, check out the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Wellness Toolkits.

Mindfulness Meditation: End of Day Reflection

When you have a quiet moment at the end of the day or before you go to sleep, take the time to write down one thing you learned during your shift and then two ways you made a positive difference for persons served that day. It could be anything from sitting for 10 minutes with an individual who was sitting alone while they finished their meal or giving words of encouragement to someone that was making a good decision. This may help you feel like you can “let go” of the shift and focus on not reliving the day in your head. Take three deep, cleansing breaths and thank yourself for the meaningful work you do to help others each day.

Notable Days in May

May 5: Cinco de Mayo
May 6: National Nurses Day
May 12: Mother’s Day
May 27: Memorial Day

We hope you find the Employee Center to be a helpful resource. If you have any questions or suggestions on what you would like to see featured on the site, please email us at or fill out our feedback form.