Staff Interview by EHN Guest Writer
Written by Lorelie Rozzano, an internationally recognized author and advocate.
Self-proclaimed “college student forever” Sabrina Mathis is the interim Alumni Outreach Director at Edgewood Health Network (EHN). Sabrina comes to EHN with seven years’ experience in the behavioral health industry. Before working in behavioral health, Sabrina was the alumni director of higher education at Murray State University (MSA) in Kentucky, USA.
Sabrina loved college and thrived there. Sabrina obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in business and her Master’s Degree in human development. After graduating, Sabrina began working with the alumni association at her Alma mater, (MSA), where she continued to excel and was promoted to alumni coordinator and then alumni director. Sabrina worked with a team of people facilitating events such as homecoming, alumni reunions, and sports events.
Seven years ago, Sabrina wanted a change and applied for a position in Nashville at a treatment center. Sabrina notes there were obvious differences in her job. At the college, a lot of social activities geared around alcohol. Now Sabrina geared her events around building safe alumni fun without alcohol. Sabrina notes there is life outside of alcohol, and you can have fun without drinking.
Six months ago, Sabrina got a call from a friend working for EHN in Canada. Sabrina’s entire career has been about alumni outreach and building programs that keep people connected to an affinity they know and love. Moving from higher education to substance use and behavioral health, Sabrina believes the need for connection is even more powerful as people’s lives depend on it. So when the opportunity to work on building a national program for EHN came along, Sabrina felt she had to do it.
Sabrina and the Team Across EHN Canada Are Building Life Support
Edgewood, along with EHN Canada is committed to building safe, supportive connected communities. Connection is a vital key to success, and our alumni are an important part of that. They volunteer at our events and mentor graduates just completing treatment. Some people can be resistant to 12-step communities, so keeping them connected to our alumni is vital.
Individuals who complete any one of our programs across EHN have a special bond with each other. Our alumni know how challenging it is to overcome addiction. They know first-hand how difficult it is to admit you need help. They also know the feelings of loneliness, hopelessness, shame, and despair. Our alumni share their stories with the patients at EHN. They offer hope and insight when they talk to the patients and say, hey, I was where you are, and I want you to know it gets better. Their message: there’s no shame in getting well.
There Are Many Things Sabrina Loves About Her Position
Like working with a team of professionals that knows first-hand what EHN is all about. Sabrina’s coworkers are passionate about recovery and living their best life. Sabrina is learning to navigate a new health care system to increase opportunities for more people to get the help they need. Sabrina enjoys meeting alumni and their families and feels honoured to hear their stories, from their struggles and successes to hearing their ideas about new alumni events.
Sabrina excels at planning events and keeping people connected with the centers and the staff who help them. For many addicted persons, their social lives and leisure time before they entered recovery centered entirely on using substances, drinking, or engaging in other mood-altering behaviours. A big part of recovery is finding out who you are when you’re sober and not self-harming. Our alumni events are about having fun. Sober activities allow you to connect with yourself and others. It’s a great way to explore the new you while offering healthy distractions from thoughts of drugs or alcohol.
Substance Use Disorders Are Highly Treatable
Sabrina wants you to know if you feel like you’re having problems and recognize you need help, reach out. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Sabrina is available to talk with you, and it’s confidential.
We All Need Help at Some Point in Our Life, and We Need to Know Somebody Cares
It doesn’t matter if you struggle with addiction or love someone who does if you have questions or concerns, please call Sabrina at (416) 893-6677. You can talk as long as you want. If you need resources, Sabrina can help you find them. If Sabrina doesn’t have answers for you, she will connect you with somebody who does.
Sabrina hopes you will join her and the EHN team, in some of our upcoming events.
Don’t Be Afraid to Reach out—We Can Help
If you would like to learn more about the addiction and mental health treatment programs provided by EHN Canada, enroll yourself in one of our programs, or refer someone else, please call us at one of the numbers below. Our phone lines are open 24/7—so you can call us anytime.