This episode is part of a TV Series called Restoring Hope with Crosswinds Counseling. Restoring Hope With Crosswinds Counseling can be viewed in the Indianapolis Area on WHMB40 Thursday nights @ 9:30 pm.
Curtis Smith Intro: Tonight we’re turning our focus inwards and looking at Crosswinds Counseling. Crosswinds is in need of people to join the organization, and tonight in our first interview I sat down with Cindy White, the new Vice President of Human Resources earlier this week. She shares what makes Crosswinds special and what makes a person a great candidate and [a great] fit for Crosswinds.
Curtis Smith: Cindy, you are the new Vice President of Human Resources for Crosswinds Counseling. Why did you join this organization
Cindy White: I joined – was it now three weeks… it’s been a whole three weeks – after a long career in insurance. Now that doesn’t answer the question though. Before I went into insurance, I was a Registered Nurse. I worked in the clinical setting as a Registered Nurse. So I said to myself when this opportunity came along, I’m coming to a point in my life where I wanted to move my career into something more meaningful. It started out in a meaningful way. My heart is caring for people, and as a nurse I had tons of opportunity [to care for people]. And I did the same thing in insurance. However, when this opportunity came, it was just the right time to come back [to] work with an organization and help support the mission of an organization like Crosswinds. To deliver, not my background – healthcare, but mental health services. And what a best time to do it because there’s such a great need right now. So it was a perfect transition for me at this time in my life.
Curtis Smith: So you’ve not been directly connected to mental health, but you’ve lived in this world obviously and you’ve seen that need go up. When you think about the state of the world right now, and how badly we do need people to join the team to provide mental health care to a hurting world, what goes through your mind as you kind of put all of those pieces together? What the state of the world looks like as well as the workforce and all of these factors coming together – it’s led to this very unique time and place from an HR perspective. How do you process all of that?
Cindy White: Well from a human… I’ll start from a human perspective.
Curtis Smith: Even better.
Cindy White: When I was working at my last employer, we quarantined at home. It’s the first time in my entire career of 30-plus years of working, where I worked from home. A place that I didn’t think I could ever work. My husband’s self-employed. He’s always been independent and worked from home. And I’ve always looked at him and said, ‘I don’t have that kind of discipline.’ In those two years, I was able to spend more time watching what you just described, ‘the state of the world.’ And how Covid and people being quarantined, and watching how that was affecting mental health. Not only with my co-workers, but family members, myself. In that two years, I personally pursued certifications in meditation and professional counseling, professional coaching with individual young ladies that I know. And in those conversations, it became apparent that the state of individuals’ minds, their mental health, was really being challenged with the current conditions. So, to answer your question, you know, from an HR perspective, it’s people. At the end of the day, there are a ton of hurting people out there and not ways that we were anticipating [they] would [with] Covid. We were looking at the physical, you know, ramifications of an infection and [how it’s] affecting your body, but it was not only Covid but it was being quarantined. It was the masking. It was the effect of all of that. [It] impacted individuals in ways I don’t think we ever anticipated. It is totally unexpected.
Curtis Smith: Let’s talk about the need. We need counselors to join Crosswinds in Indianapolis and Fort Wayne, and soon other states. And in the workforce that does exist, this workforce that we’ve never seen before, so many of them – they – I don’t even know what it’s called anymore, the great resignation… I feel like it now has had two or three other names on top of that. How do we go about appealing to and finding great candidates to join Crosswinds when the work is very difficult to begin with and then you throw on all of that stuff in the workforce?
Cindy White: Right. Mental health workers, counselors, social workers, and the ones that I’ve spoken to, the people that I’ve interviewed, the people I inquired and asked them what is the driving force behind why they chose this as their academic pursuit, and their answers were very much like mine as a nurse. They’re very much. When I became a nurse I wasn’t promised a career that was going to make me rich. I was promised long hours. Waking up at two o’clock in the morning. Being in situations that most people wouldn’t want. While again very different than mine [field] the motivation behind these excellent wonderful people is the same. Their passion is for the people. The passion is to help restore individuals to a place that they can be independent, and I don’t think that they initially are thinking about the conditions and how tough it’s going to be. Now the reality does hit, and what we’re doing here, in our effort to bring on new recruits is to be honest about all of that. So many of these young people are coming out of college with aspirations to help restore individuals in their home and children in some of the most devastating conditions possible. And then that reality hits when they’re in that home, and they’re faced with individuals who don’t even want them there. So one of the things we are doing is improving our – what we are calling our Impact Institute. As we bring new hires in here [we] educate them and expose them to truths – to what they’ll face.
Curtis Smith: Speaking of truth, tell me about the faith component of Crosswinds Counseling. I suppose some people could look at that as a real asset to the organization, finding people who align with the Biblical basis and the faith component to what Crosswinds Counseling believes, but some people might look at that as a hindrance, it’s a barrier to hiring some people. How do you look at that faith component that Crosswinds is firmly built on.
Cindy White: It’s a good question. We never want that to be a hindrance. That is not a requirement. It is, though, the foundation of healing from my perspective. And while not a requirement for hiring, one would hope that while working with us, and the acceptance of our Tenants of Culture which is heavily based in faith. It is often said that it is not the words that help people see how Christ is the foundation of life and change and healing. It is not the words. It’s my living. And so while we may recruit people who aren’t necessarily grounded in the Christian faith, that’s fine. That’s fine. It is, although, my personal hope that over time we would warm their hearts to consider it.
Curtis Smith: I love that. Cindy, thank you so much for joining us today.
Cindy White: Thank you.