After a turbulent couple of years, many are feeling the weight of having to continuously adjust to the ever-changing social and political climates of modern society. People like Chris Webberley are ready and willing to help.
Webberley is the director of Real Life Community Behavioral Health in Vancouver. Real Life, 3606 Main St., offers mental health care and counseling services to the greater Clark County community. With a specific emphasis on affordability and accessibility, Real Life is able to serve people using Medicaid-funded insurance.
In addition to his administrative duties supervising staff and client quality assurance, Webberley works closely with counselors. Real Life has been designed with the goal of helping to train new clinicians who are striving to become independent licensed therapists and social workers. Creating a collaborative and supportive work environment is of utmost importance.
“We acknowledge that RLCBH is just one of many steps on their career path,” Webberley said. “We see this as an investment in their lives and have as much enjoyment and satisfaction in that as we do in helping and supporting our clients.”
Unfortunately, enduring stigma around mental illness often makes potential clients hesitant to seek the care they need. Webberley hopes that conversations around mental health care can become more normalized and accepting, so that anyone can feel comfortable seeking counseling services without feeling shame.
“Taking care of our mental health is just as important as our physical health,” Webberley explained. “We have to end this perception that someone who experiences mental health symptoms is weak or broken.”
Webberley believes that the key to creating a more accepting social attitude around therapy and counseling services is to begin having more open and honest discussions around mental health.
“The more we talk about it, the more normal it becomes,” he said. “Normalizing our mental health and its care is how more people feel increasingly comfortable in including it in their day-to-day lives.”
Webberley understands that taking that first step toward counseling is rarely easy. He encourages first-time clients to feel confident that they are doing the right thing.
“Oftentimes the things we want help for are also the things we really wish we didn’t need help for. It takes a lot of courage to be vulnerable about our struggles, so it’s OK to be nervous at first,” he said. “I just want people to know that if and when they decide to take that first step, all of us here at Real Life will be ready to support them through that journey.”
More about Real Life Community Behavioral Health can be found at www.reallifecbh.com.