In 2020, Kendra was a healthcare worker on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic, balancing three jobs in pulmonary care, mental health, and the nonprofit space. At a certain point, things became overwhelming, leading to compassion fatigue and burnout. “I was a workaholic basically,” Kendra later reflected. “Uncomfortable in my own head…I was overwhelmed, definitely stressed. It became not a pleasant work environment and I felt trapped. I didn’t have the belief in myself to move elsewhere, so I was like, ‘This is fine. I am fine.’
When her mother passed away after a two-year battle with cancer, the stress that had been building caught up with Kendra. “That put me into a rut and I was stuck,” she said. “The ultimate low.”
She was referred to HOPES through her primary care doctor for psychiatry support. She saw Dr. Brooks, who recommended, after a series of appointments, that Kendra seek an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP).
“He told me I could use a break. Like you give breaks to other people, you need a break for yourself,” Kendra recalled. She began looking for a program but became discouraged when she couldn’t find one that would work with her schedule. But just as her hope waned, good news arrived in March 2022: HOPES opened its Bell Street Clinic and IOP, and Dr. Brooks gave her a referral.
Powered by generous donor support, HOPES’ IOP helps patients address emotional issues, substance use, and trauma through individual therapy and group therapy. Kendra participated in a 10-week-long pilot class. “The whole program, they are all just amazing people,” she said of her experience. “I really, really liked how this IOP program had a spiritual aspect, but it wasn’t religious. I believe in something bigger and something greater. It was really affirming to have that part of the program.”
As a HOPES patient, Kendra received holistic treatment, from primary care and labs to psychiatric support.
Kendra connected with several members of her care team, including psychiatric registered nurse Mary. “I wouldn’t be where I am (now) without her,” Kendra said. She also had rave reviews for other staff members, including Chad, Yani, and Nick. “One of the big things that needs to be stressed is how much help and love they have to give,” she said. “The knowledge, the everything. Really, I haven’t experienced anywhere else.”
Halfway through the IOP, Kendra’s symptoms began to improve and she found the confidence to apply for a case management position. She got the job – and with it, a fresh start.
Kendra remembers missing the “old her” at her lowest point. Today, thanks to HOPES, she has that version of herself back – but with the tools she needs to thrive.