- Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences, University of Alaska Southeast
Interests: Motivational interviewing, ADHD, internet safety, substance use, coping skills, nutrition, life skills, adverse childhood experiences, generational trauma, religious trauma and positive-psychology
Location: JAMHI Family
Christie is a case manager that works with youth and their families at JAMHI Family. She was born and raised in Southeast Alaska and has lived and worked in Juneau for most of her adult life. Christie worked at a primary care physician’s office for nine years with clients aged 16 to over 100. It was at the primary care office that she began her journey with the mental health component of healthcare. She noticed that many clients that came in for physical healthcare also had concerns about their mental health. In some cases, they did not realize that their physical conditions may be rooted in mental health. As this link became more and more apparent to Christie, she decided to pursue a bachelor’s degree in social sciences while continuing to work at the primary care office. Following the completion of her degree, she continued to take behavioral health courses that focused on an integrated healthcare model. This model appealed to Christie because it focuses on treating the entire person and combines physical, mental and emotional care as well as spiritual well-being.
Christie was drawn to JAMHI because of its focus on integrated health. She was also interested in making the leap from working with adults to working with kids. She wanted to see how it would challenge her and if it might open up the door to a path she had not previously considered. Christie’s approach to working with youth is to be real. She practices self-disclosure when appropriate in order to bridge the gap, provide some perspective and to help them to understand that there are people out there who understand what they are going through. Christie openly shares her own lived experiences with ADHD in order to encourage others. She meets people where they are and likes to use a gentle approach with kids, keeping in mind that they are still developing their emotional responses. Christie takes an active interest in her clients’ hobbies and goes the extra mile to learn about what they are interested so that she can connect with them on a deeper level.
Her professional interests include honing in on her motivational interviewing skills, chemical dependency, internet safety and teaching youth life skills including nutrition, healthy coping strategies and building a sense of community. In addition to her degree she holds an occupational endorsement in behavioral health and a chemical dependency counselor technician certification. She became certified as an EMT I during high school and went on to work at the University of Alaska Southeast student health center. Her work experience also includes a couple of summers at Temsco Helicopters where she honed in on her customer service skills and worked with people from all different age groups and cultures. Christie enjoys traveling and was impacted by her trips to Australia as a youth and Europe as an adult. She spent a little over a month in both places and enjoyed experiencing the different climates, food and scenery. She learned a lot from all of the planning that went into those trips, experiencing different cultures, and through navigating challenges in new environments. Christie also enjoys swimming, walking, and reading. As someone with ADHD she had always struggled to concentrate on reading in the past, but she is happy to say that at this point in her healing journey she is now able to look forward to it.