“The only way I can keep coming back to do this work is that at the end of every workday, I do something positive,” Says Siena Sanderson, Program Director for the Nurturing Center at Taos Behavioral Health. All the Nurturing Center staff do likewise. “We go to each of the families we are working with and take them some items that have been donated to us. Everything from plants to household goods to clothes, furniture. Our cars are delivery trucks!” states Sanderson. “But the families are intensely appreciative and then it makes it possible to go back to work the next day!” And we know that most of our families are too proud and depressed to ask for what they need.
When families “need everything” the staff who serve them need deep compassion, broad experience, strong commitment, and creativity. Those would be the descriptors applied to the staff of the Nurturing Centers which joined Taos Behavioral Health in July of this year.
Several years ago, Siena Sanderson worked with Madalena Miera, a TBH clinician, to obtain more funding to enhance the equine therapy pilot program at Enos Elementary. The mini horses were a wonderful opportunity for elementary students—and later middle school students– to learn focus, discipline, self-confidence, and horse management skills. Students who had experienced trauma and others who were painfully shy learned how their behaviors helped the horses take direction. This creative project has similarities to the Neighborhood Art Project Sanderson led with the Harwood Museum of Art—bringing a new opportunity to students with limited cultural experiences. Sanderson has used her art skills to support emotional growth in clients at the Community Against Violence, Youth Heartline, Holy Cross Hospital and Taos Municipal Schools. She brings this creative depth to her role as the Director of the Nurturing Centers. [Read more…] about The Special Gift of Appropriate Staff
By Mary McPhail Gray
As 2016 comes to an end, I reflect on how Nonviolence Works is deeply grateful to the community partners who collaborated with us to provide the services to 700 youth and 150 adult clients during the last 12 months. Our mission “To inspire, train and empower all people to lead lives of nonviolence” compels us to work with other community agencies and leaders who share our vision to support human growth and change. [Read more…] about A Year to be Grateful to our Many Partners!