June: Mental Health
This June, ABNY is highlighting YPs working in the mental health sector.
Congratulations to our June Spotlights of the Month, Diana Rachnaev, Yesodot, and Elizabeth Sillick, LCSW, Transitional Services for New York, Inc.!
It took a great deal of personal traumas , trials and tribulations that led me here today. It was no easy feat. I had no idea what journey lay ahead of me or whether I had a purpose in this life. I decided I couldn’t sit silent and allow my pain to bury me but to use it as a tool to reach out to those in need who had no voice, and to advocate for individuals who had similar experiences or anyone who needed that hope. Working in the nonprofit world for nearly 2 decades, where giving back and helping others has been the drive to help rebuild their foundations, will always be the rewarding process for me.
I am most proud of breaking the barriers of stigma, whether they were personal or cultural social “norms.” I’m proud of being a woman who can both represent a community involved with elected officials and stand up and fight to make sure I can be a mouthpiece for those suffering in silence. Becoming a mother made this reality all the more powerful. I would not change anything about my journey as it led me here today.
Being around people and others in need is not as simple as it sounds. It has to be a passion and drive to provide the necessary aid. Helping others comes in many different forms. I would advise others to definitely steer clear from personalizing. Remember that we are all different, with a uniqueness just like our fingerprints, that sets us all apart. There is no cookie cutter mold.
My family came here to New York, to the heart of Forest Hills, in 1975. My father was 17 years old. New York is all I know, it’s in my blood. Born here, raised here, and creating opportunities for everyone. New York is my home.
Elizabeth Sillick, LCSW
I always had a desire to learn, teach, and work with people. I started my career with Transitional Services for New York, Inc. (TSINY) almost 12 years ago as a full-time therapist working with adults with severe mental illness. From there, I moved around a bit participating in some of the agency’s most innovative and recovery-oriented programs. I acted as a Community Placement Consultant, Program Director, Divisional Director, and now as Associate Director of Rehabilitation and Recovery Services, serving as an executive member of the TSINY team and returning to the outpatient services to which I first started.
I’m most proud to have grown as an effective leader and to be a part of such a great agency at the executive level. Throughout my years I’ve had the opportunity to touch so many lives of individuals who are diagnosed with a mental illness and the staff who are working with them to achieve their goals.
The mental health field is one that is extremely challenging and takes a special type of patience and desire to help others. It is one that comes with the day to day of not knowing what to do next, since everything is a priority, but ultimately results in growth and achievement: personally, professionally, and with those who you are working with.
I never knew anything different.