Marilyn Smith, Case Manager
Posted on: March 21, 2019
Marilyn Smith is a case manager at Supportive Living. Like many people in our field, she knows first-hand what it’s like to be in recovery. After years in addiction, she started her own recovery process in 1996 at Horizon Village. This helps her to understand the experiences of our residents. “I can relate to the hurt and pain that they’ve gone through,” she explained.
After successfully completing treatment, Marilyn went on to obtain a certificate in administrative assistance. She even ran a video store with her husband. Next, Marilyn decided she wanted to go back to school so she could help vulnerable populations. First, she obtained an associate’s degree in mental health and substance use counseling from Erie Community College. She then obtained a bachelor’s in health and human services with a focus on mental health from the University at Buffalo (UB).
Finding Cazenovia Recovery
During her time at UB, she completed internships at a few different providers. It was here that she found her way to Cazenovia Recovery. Marilyn actually started her career with us as an intern at Supportive Living in 2016, and she’s been at that program ever since. Supportive Living has a fantastic collaborative atmosphere that Marilyn loves. “I appreciate the teamwork,” she said. “We work together to help each other.” Marilyn has high praise for the program’s director, Tina McCarty-Neveu. “She’s great,” Marilyn said. “She always has a calm spirit about her.”
Above all else, Marilyn has put in the hard work to get to where she is today. “Success it not easy,” she explained. “You have to work your way up.” At the same time, she knows that providing a helping hand can make all the difference for someone in need. “I want to help them because it was done for me.”
Advice for Our Staff
Marilyn stressed that staying open-minded and being willing to listen are absolutely crucial for staff members in our field. Putting ourselves in the shoes of our residents can really help us in our work. “I do that every day,” she added. “I try to see the whole picture with them.” Of course, Marilyn always remembers perhaps the most important part of our jobs: empathy. “I have a lot of compassion for our people,” said Marilyn. “I understand what they’re going through.”
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