“I will look after you and I will look after anybody you say needs to be looked after, any way you say. I am here. I brought my whole self to you. I am your mother.” —Maya Angelou, Mom & Me & Mom
A mother: someone who cares about you and tries to make sure that you have what you need for the world ahead. Although I do not have any children, I have helped to raise several children as far back as I can remember. I am the oldest of four and I took it upon myself to help my mom take care of my siblings. I was changing diapers when I was 9 years old and became the popular choice as a babysitter because I was dependable, trustworthy, and genuinely cared about the children I watched over. My philosophy has always been to ensure that children have the opportunity to grow and learn through compassion and understanding and, from my own experience, being a mother is not an easy job but it is a necessary role that needs to be filled. I have learned that my love for children extends beyond any boundaries. My mother is very important to me. I did not realize how much I needed her guidance, understanding, and love until I became an adult trying to raise someone else’s child. I know that I made many mistakes but I also learned a lot about myself along the way. When you have a child looking at you for guidance and direction, it is important to look within yourself to see what changes need to be made so that the child can benefit from what you have to offer. Motherhood is a very powerful position to be in. It is up to us to teach our children how to be compassionate and kind in what may sometimes seem like a cruel world.
I have found my place with Southwest Behavioral & Health Services and I thoroughly enjoy the work that I do. I have been with the SB&H In Home program for about 4 ½ years. In that time, I have provided our staff with a safe place to talk about their accomplishments and frustrations. I guess I could be considered a “motherly figure” for our staff as I have been watching over everyone to make sure that they are taking care of themselves since I started working at SB&H. I am surrounded by people who are passionate about what they do. We are in the middle of a viral pandemic and we continue to support each other despite all of us working remotely. The In Home program provides permanent supportive housing (PSH) and in home counseling services to individuals that qualify for AHCCCS benefits. We try to assist individuals in finding affordable housing throughout the community. We also provide skills training, counseling, and peer support services to assist clients toward achieving their goal(s). In essence, we are all “mothers,” as we try to make the world a better place. By teaching fairness, honesty, and kindness to our clients, we as behavioral health technicians, peer support specialists, and clinicians are able to make a difference in people’s lives on a daily basis. I have found my passion in the behavioral health field. Helping people to reach independence taps into my “motherly instincts.” To all of the mothers and mother-figures out there who are making daily sacrifices to ensure the well-being of our children and future community, I would like to say “Thank you and Happy Mother’s Day!”
Jessica Corrales, BS, BHT
Senior Team Lead In Home PSH
Southwest Behavioral & Health Services