Company and title: Mental Health Center Program Coordinator for EPIC Montana — an early psychosis intervention clinic/first-episode psychosis program
Education and/or background: Bachelor's degree in human services.
Shelly Rumsey wanted a career helping others. When she started college, she never thought that meant working in mental health. Thirteen years later, Rumsey is now a case manager at the Mental Health Center Program Coordinator for EPIC Montana.
“I have had the privilege of learning from and working with some of the best in the field and I wouldn’t have wanted my journey any other way,” said Rumsey.
If you couldn’t do this, what would you do instead?
I would want to work with animals in some capacity. I think there are far too many people in the world who mistreat animals. They are so vulnerable and they deserve a voice.
What other passions/callings are part of your life?
Being a wife and a mom. My husband and my daughter are my everything. I am most proud of being their person.
What is the worst advice you’ve received and why?
You get a lot of unsolicited advice as a mother. I think in motherhood and just in life in general, we need to support each other better. We need to be less critical of others and ourselves.
What advice would you give to a teenager about success?
Sometimes the greatest success comes from within ourselves, but can be the hardest to recognize and measure. Success is more significant when it is personal to you. It should mean something to you whether or not it does to others.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
What is one professional accomplishment you still want to achieve?
To see the EPIC program expand and have the capability of serving even more areas of Montana and even more people.
How do you measure your own success?
How I feel at the end of a long day. If I know that I did everything I could and I did it with integrity and kindness then I feel pretty successful.
What failure have you learned the most from?
I would not call them failures, but I think I have learned the most from the times when I wasn’t able to help someone. Accepting that sometimes you can only do so much is extremely difficult. However, it happens and it presents a great opportunity to reflect on yourself. There are always ways we can improve ourselves or the way we do things.
What is the hardest part of your job?
Remembering to take care of myself. Self-care takes practice and a conscious effort. I still have to work at it.
What was the last show you binge watched?
“The Masked Singer.”
What is your favorite book?
“Safe Haven” by Nicholas Sparks.
What is the most rewarding/important aspect of your occupation?
Being able to provide some hope for patients and their families. The possibility of being a glimpse of light in what may be some of their darkest days is what keeps me going.
What is the most challenging aspect of your occupation?
Getting people to believe they are worth the work and not alone. The stigma that continues to surround mental health is real and powerful. Sometimes more powerful than those of us trying to improve it. Mental health has come so far, but there is still so far to go. It can be very hard to admit and accept. This reality easily gets in the way of people seeking help and engaging in services.
Who is your greatest mentor/inspiration?
My dad. He was kind, selfless, and extremely resilient. Even though he is not here with me anymore, he inspires me every day. So much of my core being exists because of the person I grew up watching him be. I have no doubt that I do this work today because of how he loved, listened, laughed, cared, and showed up every time.
Do you have a motto that you live by?
You never know someone’s story. Listen. Learn. Be kind.
How does it feel to be nominated and selected for forty under 40?
I am feeling speechless, undeserving, truly grateful and incredibly honored. I would love to give a shout out to my amazing team though. I definitely do not do this alone and I am very thankful for each of them.
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to start new business or excel in a business or field?
Go for what you want but be the best version of yourself in the meantime. How you treat people matters and you never know when you might be making a difference.
How do you view failure and success?
Failure comes with such a negative implication, but it does not have to. Failures can lead to successes. We should strive to learn from our failures. I believe a big key to success is how we view and handle our failures.
What do you do for fun/relax/hobby?
I love hanging out at home and snuggling my fur babies. I also love spending time with family and friends. I love camping, fishing, bike rides and I am always up for a good road trip.
What’s the greatest gift you ever received? Why?
My daughter. She reminds me of the innocence and openness that still exists in our world. She reminds me to slow down and not take myself too seriously. She brings the perfect amount of sweetness and sass to our lives. At eight years old, she already has the biggest heart and she accepts me for exactly who I am.
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