Bronco Spotlight: Katherine Reeber
Crisis Service Professional at Washtenaw County CMH
I work in crisis mode. My job consists of providing support and authorizing care for individuals experiencing a psychiatric crisis. I go to all areas of the County, including the University of Michigan Emergency Rooms, as well as other hospitals in the County when they request someone with Medicaid or no insurance to receive an inpatient psychiatric admission. I work with police, assisting individuals in the county who need to go to the hospital, and petition them so that they can receive an assessment at the hospital. I check in with people who were recently in the hospital to assure they are feeling safe in the community.
What is the most rewarding and the most challenging part of your job?
The most rewarding part of my job is being able to use my clinical judgement and advocate for client’s best outcomes; collaborating with the larger community for client’s safety; being able to serve a variety of clients and their needs. And honestly, supervisors who are 100% supportive in the work we do. Working with community partners can be challenging. Sometimes we have different ideas about best practice for a client, and we both are very passionate about our beliefs.
What activities, resources, or people helped you prepare for your career?
I mean, what didn’t help me prepare for my career? From the beginning, professor Mathews supported and encouraged me, and provided me every opportunity to grow. Professor Harrison encouraged me through IPEER to be a leader and make strong clinical decisions. Professor Diacanu encouraged me to focus on my education. Professor Lagalo got me in touch with NAMI, where I continue to advocate for mental health and speak at area agencies about mental health. Nancy Cretsinger and Cassie Watts from CHHS gave me the opportunity to co-teach IPE courses, so that I could to teach others about the healthcare professions and advocate for a social work career with freshman. Learning about other healthcare professions helped me learn how the systems interact together. Providing in-home ABA therapy also helped prepare me for working and providing care in the community. My internship at Borgess ED definitely helped prepare me for my current role. Not many people have been able to get hired into the crisis team, typically we need experience. Borgess ED helped me learn this system of psych crisis, and how to properly assess clients. The entire Borgess ED SW team helped prepare me specifically for this role.
What advice do you have for students?
Never stop trying to succeed. The professors are more than happy to help you succeed and will encourage you to follow your path and give you all the resources they can to help you. Also, don’t be afraid to find yourself in grad school. Fun Fact: The first time I applied for the MSW program, I was declined admission. Professor Mathews encouraged me to take a class in the school anyway. The next year, I applied and was admitted into the program. Best decision of my life. I had an amazing time in grad school.