Meet Our Staff

Carissa, LMSW

Learn why Carissa, a member of our Staten Island Mobile Crisis Team, made the journey from peer mentor to Social Worker, and why her favorite part of the job is to make a client feel safe and seen.

What made you want to get into this field?

I got into this field after having an internship in my undergrad program that supported homeless youth. I was a peer mentor, and the joy and happiness I felt watching my students achieve their goals was a high point for me and really influenced my decision to make this my career. The feeling of pride I felt for them, watching their resilience and self-confidence increase, was such a rewarding feeling that I knew I wanted to help others along their own personal journeys through social work.

What is an average day for you at The Jewish Board?

An average day for me in Mobile Crisis is “always on the go.” After I wake up and get myself ready for the day, I log onto my computer, update documentation, check emails, make follow-up calls, and wait to be assigned any new cases to conduct safety/crisis assessments – all while also following up with the clients on my caseload.

What is your favorite part of the work you do?

My favorite part of the work I do is being able to make a client feel safe, comfortable, and heard. When I respond to a Mobile Crisis call, it’s often a client’s first encounter with the mental health field, and they often come with bias or stigmas regarding mental health. When I am able to make them feel seen and understood, they can let down their guards and agree to participate in longer-term services and engage in safety planning.

What of The Jewish Board’s core values resonates with you the most?

Treating every person with dignity and respect is the core value that resonates with me the most. When you give respect, you receive respect in return. It costs nothing to be kind and respectful to everyone I meet.

You spend so much time caring for others; what’s one way you practice self-care?

Pilates is my favorite way to practice self-care. After a long day of treating/ speaking with clients and conducting high-risk safety assessments, I can be left feeling really overwhelmed and tense. Pilates has been a great way for me to keep both my body and my mind strong and healthy.

What’s the last song you listened to?

The last song I listened to was Cant Stop by the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

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