The Courage to Change

“You were given this life, because you are strong enough to live it.” Unknown

Monday’s Mental Health Moment is focused on one woman’s motivation, dedication, and courage to change.

Cheyanne Skelton, a Health Choices Caseworker in Bell’s Supported Housing program, said, “I grew up being labeled with a mental health diagnosis, and therefore it pushed me to go to school and to really get to understand more about this field.”

When Cheyanne was attending Harrisburg Area Community College, she worked for Bell’s CRAS (Community Residential Apartment Services) Department. After receiving her Associates Degree, in Human Services, Cheyanne interned with Bell’s Social Rehabilitation Program.

She said, “I facilitated a social group called “expressive arts.” We did fun activities such as a “thankful tree.” I took my group over to Penn Park and we collected leaves, small sticks, and branches. We came back and on this huge poster board we made our own tree, attaching the leaves and branches we collected. Every client wrote what they were thankful for on our tree. It was a really fun and interactive activity.”

While sharing her story, Cheyanne mentioned that like all of us, she has a past, she made changes, she grew, and she learned. Also, she did not let anything stop her. Growth can be tough, some lessons are learnt the hard way, but none of this defines us. Instead, it makes us human!

Cheyanne said, “Bell is one place that I have always known to have their doors open to individuals in need.” It was because of this she applied for a position with Bell. She commented, “Bell took a shot on me as a part time RC for CRAS, and within six months I went full-time as a caseworker. I couldn’t be more thankful as I am now in my fourth year with Bell.”

Cheyanne continued, “Being given this opportunity to prove myself and to show that I am more than what my background says, or my mental health diagnosis states, really has done a lot me for, “and she said, “To be honest it’s been an inspiration to some of my clients as well.”

Cheyanne ended with, “Never give up on yourself!”

She is an inspiration to each of us! At times, the road may seem tough, but keep going, we are often closer to success then we realize. So, as this new week unfolds know that you are strong enough, courageous enough, good enough, and can DO ANYTHING!

Thank you, Cheyanne, for sharing your story, inspiring us, and starting this week in such a positive, beautiful way!