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Blogs July 20, 2023

My Why: Claire’s Advice for Self Care and Avoiding Burn Out

Claire Vaughn

We're proud of our incredible team at Lightning Step - for their dedication to their jobs and passion for the behavioral health industry. 

Today, we're excited to introduce you to Claire Vaughn, Account Executive at Lightning Step. Continue reading to learn about Claire's passion for behavioral health and why she loves working in the industry. 

How did you get into the behavioral health industry?  
I am a person in long-term recovery with a background in sales. When I heard about this position, I was immediately intrigued by the idea of bringing the two together. 

What are the wins or accomplishments that keep you motivated? 
My wins are seeing current clients and not only having them tell me how much Lightning Step has improved their lives and their clients' lives but telling others as well.   

What is your WHY for working in behavioral health? 
As a person who suffered from addiction due to trauma, my mission is to help others who have suffered through the same.  

What was the moment you realized you love what you do? 
I heard a podcast three years ago that made me realize my life's mission is to help others who have suffered the way I have. And I am proud to say that is what I get to today. 

What have you learned throughout your career that has impacted your personal life and how you navigate your self-care? 
When I first began my career, I tended to work constantly without breaks. As a person in recovery, I know how important self-care is and have had to incorporate that into my work life. 

What are some of the most pressing challenges the behavioral health industry faces? 
From personal experience, I know that access to care is a challenge. There is also still a stigma associated with mental health and substance abuse. There is a shortage of qualified counselors, and they tend to burn out from being overworked.   

How do you see technology impacting the future of behavioral health? 
Technology is continuously playing a significant role in behavioral health. As telehealth gains popularity, a system is needed to document those virtual visits. User role permissions and audits increase facilities' compliance, and the regular collection of outcomes data can inform treatment approaches and help with overall care. 

What common misconceptions or myths about behavioral health that you often encounter?  

  1.  Mental health conditions are not real and are a sign of weakness 
  2. People with mental health conditions are violent 
  3. Only certain types of people experience mental health conditions 
  4. Mental health conditions can only be treated through medication 

What advice would you give to someone considering a career in the behavioral health industry? 

  1. Gain relevant information and experience. Train yourself on workflows of different levels of care as well as how to identify areas for improvement. 
  2. Develop empathy and compassion. 
  3. Stay updated on research and new guidelines, which vary from state to state. 
  4. Practice self-care! 
  5. Seek mentorship and advice from those that are already in the field.


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