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Working Iowa: 70 positions open at Abbe Community Mental Health Center

Published: Oct. 11, 2021 at 7:33 AM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Chelsea DeLarm has been an outpatient therapist at the Abbe Community Mental Health Center in Cedar Rapids for about three to four months. She came to Abbe with lots of experience, having worked with other mental health organizations in the community.

“I see people who have mental health challenges and I provide mental health therapy for them in a variety of modalities,” she said. “We address the whole person, meaning that their basic needs need to be met for mental health stability.”

DeLarm enjoys helping people find solutions to whatever challenges they may be facing in their lives.

“I get to be creative and problem-solve. Our community faces a lot of challenges,” she said. “One of the things I enjoy about Abbe Center is that everybody here is working together and they’re compassionate.”

But AbbeHealth is in desperate need of therapists right now, in addition to other positions.

“If we had more therapists, then we could see people more regularly and that could increase both the speed of recovery and the chances of someone recovering,” DeLarm said.

Anna Ronnebaum with human resources says they have 70 positions across all of the counties Abbe serves. That includes Johnson, Linn, Benton and Delaware counties.

“We are looking for our community-based direct care services, working directly with the clients in their homes,” Ronnebaum said.

Positions are open for caregivers, nurse practitioners and clinical therapists, but she said experience shouldn’t be a barrier. Whether you have 20 years of experience or none at all there’s a spot for you.

“If you’re looking to get your foot in the door with mental health, we have direct care positions, where you don’t need to bring a lot of experience with you. We’ll provide that training,” Ronnebaum said.

Ronnebaum said passionate people are needed to fill these positions. They need to have the want to make a difference in the lives of others. There’s also room for personal growth.

“Even if you come in with little experience, you can work as one of our direct care professionals,” she said. “As you are developing those skills, we can talk to you about where else you can go within our organization.”

She said at the end of the day, every employee goes home knowing they’ve made a difference in someone’s life.

“This is a place where you get to see real change and sometimes that comes in big strides and sometimes very small, incremental strides and that’s the game of mental health,” she said.

DeLarm says she teaches people in order to help them reach their goals. But she’s also building relationships and making life-changing connections.

“When you first meet someone, you don’t what that history is going to look like and sometimes the challenges that we face here can be every daunting,” she said. “But then you see that person a couple of times and you really grow fond of them...and it’s an honor to walk alongside them on the journey.”

Click or tap here for more information about jobs at AbbeHealth.

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