The Caring Force Blog January Member Spotlight!

The Caring Force is pleased to announce the January Member Spotlight honoree is Nicole Ubaldi, the Program Coordinator of the Intensive Outpatient / Structured Outpatient Addiction Program (IOP/SOAP) program at North Suffolk Mental Health Association.

In the two years Nicole has been at North Suffolk Mental Health Association, her energy and commitment has not gone unnoticed. Nicole is so passionate about the program she coordinates that she is now the person who introduces the program and its importance to newly elected officials.

Here’s a little more information about Nicole and what she had to say about working in human services:

Organization: North Suffolk Mental Health Association

Years in human services: 8

Job title: Program Coordinator of the Intensive Outpatient / Structured Outpatient Addiction Program (IOP/SOAP)

Best professional memory: In the beginning of my journey through the human service industry, I was working with a low-functioning, autistic child who struggled with continued outbursts of rage and frustration.  Others in my agency refused to work with him, and I can remember being worried I wasn’t going to be able to ‘handle the wrath.’ The first time I heard him yell, scream and throw things around the room, I felt oddly calm.  I knew that if I gave him his space and continued to treat him with the respect every person deserves, it would be OK.  That memory carried us through the next two years of our journey together and I was able to witness this young man’s growth and progress towards stability.  By being a part of his change, I was drawn into helping those surrounded by stigma and I use these experiences in my current work with adults struggling from addiction.

What advice would you give to someone who is considering a career in human services? (Question from Jerome Hogan of Morgan Memorial Goodwill Industries): Be aware!  Often times there are no easy cures to the complex challenges our clients face.  Also, helping every single person in need is close to impossible.  My advice is to take care of yourself too!  Self-care has always been what keeps me sane.  I love my job, care about my clients and I wouldn’t trade it for the world, but I know absorbing their pain or working harder than them will lead to burnout.  I make sure to take care of me and always challenge myself to have fun, even on the most intense days.

Question for the next member spotlight honoree: Recognizing that these jobs can be challenging, how do you incorporate fun each work day?

P.S. If you know someone who inspires clients and embodies the spirit of The Caring Force, please nominate them on our website or email Christine Batista at for more information about our Spotlight program.

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