Pamela Connors, a peer support counselor for Sound’s Transition Support Team, has been honored with the Partners in Health Above & Beyond award. This distinction is reserved for professionals who exemplify excellent service by going above and beyond the call of duty for children and families while modeling the Recovery and Resiliency Principles in King County. The principles address both holistic healthcare and trauma-informed-care and include assistance for people for both outpatient and residential services.
The award, given annually by Partners in Health, is a well-earned honor for Connors, a 3-year team member of Sound. A caring nurturer, Pamela is lauded by her clients and coworkers as an “exemplary human being” who goes above and beyond in serving her clients and caring for her peers. “I was shocked to win a prize for doing work I love!” said Connors. “I’m not looking for recognition, but it IS nice to be appreciated.”
Her teammate, certified peer counselor and parent peer coordinator Jody Schreven, nominated Connors for the award. “Pamela is one of the greatest clinicians we have at our Sound Tukwila office. She is also a wonderful certified peer. Upon meeting her I could see immediately she had “the best of both worlds” to offer clients. The folks she supports, in her role in Transition Support are often in complex and difficult situations. Pamela truly listens to them, without judgment or reservation (no stigma allowed around Pamela)! She not only goes above and beyond for clients, she is a colleague one can always count on and who involves herself in the work we do outside the office as well.”
The energy Connors exudes is positive, warm and welcoming – the kind of energy that makes a workplace more like home and team members more like family. When you ask people around the Sound office about Connors, the consensus is that she is the team mom. Connors says that she keeps her office lights low and the atmosphere calm. “I like my office to be inviting – a place where people can come to decompress.” Connors also keeps an impressive supply of treats in her office, noting which of her coworkers likes which snacks. Team members will often chip in a few dollars toward their favorites.
Her role as a Peer Support Counselor involves working directly with youth and adults to promote mental wellness, provide support to individuals and families directly impacted by mental illness, and advocate to reduce the stigma and discrimination against individuals grappling with mental health challenges.
Connors is especially proud of her work with at-risk youth. Her favorite client story is about a young man struggling with chronic institutionalization and mental challenges that caused him to attempt suicide several times since the age of seven. After working and talking with the youth, she concluded, “I don’t think you want to die. I think you’re afraid to live.” These words resonated deeply with the young man who took her wise counsel to heart. He continues receiving Sound services and he is now finishing high school, working at two different jobs, going to counseling and has been adhering to his medications.
Connors loves her work, she loves people and it is definitely reciprocated. We all congratulate you on this well-deserved award, Pamela. We’re very proud of you!