Name: Ciara Atkinson
Class Year: 2017
Internship Organization: Ohio Association of County Behavioral Health Authorities
Location: Columbus, OH
We are photographed in front of the vision and mission statement of the Ohio Association of County Behavioral Health Authorities. I am on the left and my supervisor, Alaina Herrel '12, is on the right.
I had a multitude of job responsibilities during my time at the Ohio Association of County Behavioral Health Authorities. Every week I was responsible for writing a newsletter that is emailed to over 5,000 people within the mental health and addiction world that includes state leaders, policy makers, and the Ohio General Assembly. The newsletter highlights current news, events, and research that are relevant to mental health and addiction. I also had the privilege of attending a mental health and addiction recovery conference, updating orientation manuals for new executive council members, assisting office staff in preparation for upcoming conferences, writing several blog posts for RecoveryIsBeautiful.org as well as running multiple quality checks to verify that the information and addiction and mental health resources were up to date. In addition, I got to take part in a planning committee for the 2015 Judicial Symposium on Addiction and Child Welfare. In planning for the Judicial Symposium I learned a lot about collaboration and working in teams. The planning committee brought together the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, the Supreme Court of Ohio and the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. These organizations do many different things so it was really awesome to see them come together and use their different strengths and knowledge to accomplish a goal.
What I Learned:
Overall, my experience with OACBHA taught me so many things about the professional world that I would not have gotten from the classroom. I learned an immense amount about team work and its relation to the productivity and functionality of an office. This internship was totally worthwhile and has made me more confident in myself and my ability to succeed! I am incredibly thankful for the time I spent here and the skills I learned. Not only have I been changed for the better, but I also have a clearer idea of what I aspire to do post college.