Mental health is critical to employability

As a Roanoke native and human resources professional going into my third year as a board member for Family Service of Roanoke Valley, I am passionate about playing a part in the evolution of Roanoke. I am currently the Director of Human Resources at Associated Asphalt, also headquartered in downtown Roanoke.

I became involved with Family Service after meeting Chief Development Officer, Ruth Cassell. At the time she was serving as my advisor for Leadership Roanoke Valley. LRV is an immersive 10-month leadership program that helps participants better understand issues that affect the Roanoke Valley. Ruth inspired me to join the board because of how passionate she was about her role at Family Service. Her passion and loyalty to the non-profit organization was intriguing and made me take a closer look at Family Service stands.

The mission of Family Service also stood out to me and gave me an extra push to get involved. The mission is important to me for many reasons but not the least of which is that I, as an HR Director, have a clear understanding of how mental health and wellness affects every part of a person’s life including their ability to gain and keep steady employment.

I was also intrigued by the services offered by Family Service and the ability they have to be life changing for willing participants. I love how families at all ages and stages of life can be touched by the opportunities we offer. Our core value of inclusivity is also important to me. Our programs touch people of all races, ages, social-economic levels and ethnicities.

While I do not have a direct connection to the cause of mental health, I do have a passion for seeing individuals prosper. I believe mental health to be a vital part of leading a healthy life. I do have a passion for seeing individuals have every opportunity to achieve and lead safe, healthy lives.  Mental health is a vital part of that.  It is as important and sometimes more so than physical health, financial means or education attainment.

I am looking forward to seeing Family Service grow in the future. My hope is to see the non-profit organization become more influential within the Roanoke Valley and become just as renowned as other organizations within the area. I would also be happy to see Family Service partner more with other agencies as well as see the staff host more public events.