Irish Scott first joined the Cazenovia Recovery team in 2014 and she currently serves as a counselor associate at Unity House. Throughout her career with us, Irish has experienced many professional milestones. One in particular that she is proud of is obtaining her CASAC credential last year. The road was long and challenging, but she her knowledge, experience, and drive served her well.
Like most people, Irish has personal connections to addiction and recovery. In 2006, the disease struck her family hard. Multiple family members found themselves in addiction in a short period of time. “It was really difficult,” she explained. However, she knew she had to help. Soon after, Irish enrolled in classes at Erie Community College and quickly earned her associate’s degree. She hopes to continue her education next year at Buffalo State to earn a bachelor’s degree in social work.
Our agency’s commitment to Trauma-Informed Care is especially inspiring for Irish. “It has taught me so much about how to engage our residents,” Irish said. In fact, Irish is the Trauma-Informed Champion at Unity House, which means she is responsible for ensuring that the program continues to adhere to the model’s five principles and other concepts.
She takes this duty of being a champion to heart. Just recently, she provided residents at Unity House with an impressive choice: instead of selecting group topics centered on emotional regulation on her own, she tasked this out to the residents. Their first choice was to discuss the physiological benefits of exercise on mental health. Irish went one step further and brought residents to Delaware Park for a walk and exercise before engaging in a group discussion at the park. Residents liked this idea so much that it’s become an important staple of the program.
At the moment, Irish is particularly excited that she was chosen to serve as the counselor for Unity House’s first transgender resident. “I’ve got a lot to learn so I can be effective,” she noted with enthusiasm. She takes every opportunity to engage in continued self-development and learning, and she explained that, “It’s teaching us all to be more aware of both our language and body language.” Irish described Unity House as “one big family,” and this is evident in the way that this resident has been accepted within the program’s community. “Everyone has been very kind,” Irish said. “Her fellow residents have been extremely understanding and compassionate.” Irish is very proud of this development. “Everybody deserves the opportunity to have a good life,” she said.