Kendra Nerad is a Behavioral Health Intervention Services provider. She loves her job working with individuals and their families. She helps build communication, social, behavior management, self-control, emotional management, decision-making, and coping skills.
Can relate to hardships
Kendra grew up in a one-parent household and took on a lot of responsibilities that children don’t typically deal with. The support that she didn’t always receive is the same type of support that she now provides to other kids. In addition, she has experienced depression and anxiety. As a result, she has experienced a lot of the same things that the kids are going through. This is helpful because she can piece together the “why” behind any behavioral or developmental skills that may be lacking.
She is an empathetic person and approaches each situation with compassion. Because she understands the importance of mental health, she takes steps to improve her own. She does this by seeing a therapist and working on some of her own challenges. The progress that she has made in her journey inspires her to continue helping children who might be hurting in similar ways. She is also passionate about improving self-esteem and makes sure to share that with kids in BHIS sessions.
Stopping the stigma
Aside from personal experiences, Kendra’s motivation is also rooted in her desire to stop the stigma behind mental health. She wants to help put an end to the negative attitudes that so many people have towards mental health. Mental health is important and is the basis of who we are.
Similarly, she loves knowing that she is making a difference. It is not always an easy job but it is meaningful to Kendra. Especially because she has been there herself and knows how far support and guidance can go. Being apart of children’s lives at their most vulnerable and darkest times is not a burden, but an honor. The ability to be someone that kids look up to, rely on, and trust makes a world of difference. Not only does she help the kids, but they help her too. She learns about herself and how to think about things differently.
Listening is important
One of the most important things in her role is to listen. A lot of adults forget to truly listen to kids. It’s easy to write things off as “kid stuff” or “just being silly”. Although kids do communicate differently, due to lack of maturity and experience, they still have plenty to share. Her natural ability to help them articulate their feelings helps them to feel heard. In turn, they are reassured that they matter and their feelings are important. Not only can she help them communicate the things creating issues, but she can pull the parents in and help them to hear the child too.
Her active listening goes both ways with parents and children. This allows her to look at both perspectives and help both parties understand better. This leads to better communication and behaviors moving forward.