My name is Sara Mae, but Sara will do. I am a goof ball a heart, or so I like to think. I have been called optimistic, flamboyant, easy loving, outgoing and that I am a forward thinker. I have real, attainable goals for my future and the future of others.
It all started with a family history of drug abuse and incarceration. While at Spalding University studying Occupational Therapy I found my meaning in mental health. At the time someone very dear to me was in prison for illegal substance use and so on. While in mental health class I got to go to Rhode Island for a level 1 field work at one of the first psychiatric hospitals in the nation and loved every difficult second of it. Although it was trying and sometimes scary, I felt at home and that I had finally found the true “Why” I wanted to be an OT. Back at school learning theory I fell in love with CBT! I came home from school and stated writing interventions, theories and a kind of a workbook for my loved one who was in prison. I was already writing one letter a day and was very excited to see if they would engage in the actives I was providing them. To my absolute delight they did! It gave me an insight to them that I had not yet understood. The poor coping skills, the irrational thinking, the sadness and fear. My heart was broken, but the fact that they were working the programs gave me so much hope for them and helped me see what I could be as a professional.
Fast forward to level 2 field work. A recovery program called Wayside Christian Mission for Women and Men here in Louisville Kentucky. I primarily worked with the women. There I learned the 12 steps of recovery via AA and learned so much about myself and those fighting addiction. Wow! I didn’t know it yet but God was working in a very mysterious way. Yet again, after that field work was finished my life was touched with addiction again but this time I knew how to help my loved one right away and I did. It has been said jokingly that I am their “higher power”, lol.
While at Wayside I met a man who is now like a father to me. Chaplin Michael Blunk. He would tell me stories of his outreach at the Kentucky State Reformatory. I cried, revealed my family’s struggle and begged to go with him. It didn’t work out right away but about a year later I was walking the yard with my head high, nervous but comfortable in my surroundings. I observed his Critical Thinking class for a few weeks before I stated my own. I currently have 4, Creative Writing, Art Expressions (I’m not an artist), Journaling, and the Grief Forum which is my favorite to lead. My goal with each class is to take them out of their surrounding for a time, let them forget where they are, provide coping skills, open creative thought and promote healing through a non-judgmental attitude and acceptance. Soon I was at the Kentucky Corrections Institute for Women leading the Grief Forum 20 women at a time. The changes that I was able to see were simply amazing! Thanks Chaplin Mike! I also thank the Lord for showing me my path.
What am I doing all this for? I’m sure you think I’m a little crazy.
My life was created to serve. It’s as simple as that. I’m sure yours is to or you would not have chosen to be an OT. Will you find inspiration in my service and follow my path? I sure hope so! Together, let’s bring OTs into Forensics, recovery and trauma. Let’s help others heal by going back to our roots, mental health. It is time to heal. It is our calling! Let’s do it together!
Spalding University- Bachelor's Health in Science
Auerbach School of Occupational Therapy- Master's in Science in Occupational Therapy
EXPERIENCE / SKILLS
Program and practice model building.
Healer with boundaries
Social Justice advocate
I believe, if accepted by others; I can assist a change. You have to do what is right for you and learn those lessons if they hurt you.
Trauma informed care
Please follow this link to a podcast I was a guest on.