Tom Petrizzo, CEO of Tri-County Mental Health Services

One of the more pleasurable aspects of my position here at Tri-County is that I often receive thanks and praise for the wonderful work done by staff members who work here. I count myself fortunate that I get to work with bright, dedicated, caring people who are focused on improving the mental health of our community.

Like many businesses, we have been working hard to find and keep great employees. The most recent unemployment numbers in the Tri-County area show unemployment under 2.5% in Clay, Platte and Ray counties! If we do not have enough staff members, we cannot serve everyone who needs our help.

We have formed a work group comprised of varied staff members focused on Recruitment and Retention. It is important that we focus on both attracting and keeping great staff members. For recruitment, we are offering incentive bonuses, and working to expand our presence on campuses that have degree programs in mental health related programs. We are trying to publicize ourselves more, and using videos like the one featured later in this newsletter. These videos, by the way, are created by our own energetic and creative staff members!

Retaining our great staff is the other side of the coin. Just under 30% of our staff has been here for less than a year – many of them have joined Tri-County to help us deliver more services. To retain people we are looking at expanding our benefits, making certain that our compensation is market-competitive, and providing a positive, supportive workplace. We also make supporting our staff members a priority, through surveys and internal work groups, like the Care Team. We even have a staff quiet room, where people can go for a bit of silence and solitude. 

This is a great time to be in the community mental health field. The historical stigma that kept people from seeking the help when needed continues to fade, and the importance of mental health is becoming better understood in our community. Working at a community mental health center offers bright people the opportunity to work in the front lines and help people who need them. Tri-County is determined to be a great employer, not only because it will help us help more people, but because it is the right thing to do for our wonderful staff members.

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