Romona Yizar started as an intern and was hired as a PROS Specialist in July 2017. She has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Mount Saint Mary College and a master’s in mental health counseling from Marist. While getting her education, she was originally looking to intern at a counseling center, but instead went with the PROS program, and she’s glad she did. She had a great experience, and found that she really loves working in a group setting.
In her role as PROS Specialist, she holds a caseload of 21 and conducts eight groups each week. The groups are a mix of mental health, and health and wellness groups. Although she hasn’t been working in the field for a very long time, she has great advice for those who are just getting started: “Ask questions, but don’t doubt yourself. Trust your gut, education, and intelligence.” She also says to remember that you won’t always have all the answers, and that’s OK.
Romona is passionate about her work in behavioral health. “The individuals we serve need encouragement and support, and are often just looking for someone to listen,” she asserts. “There can be such a stigma around mental illness and substance use, especially in the media. It is important that we are having conversations and educating others on mental illness in order to combat stigma and create a safer and more accepting community for all.”
In the future, Romona may want to try working more with substance use. Growing up, she wanted to go into law, which is an option she’s not taking off the table. For self-care, it’s music all the way. In fact, cranking the tunes is the first thing she does on her way to and from work, usually pop music. Whether it’s Bruno Mars or Taylor Swift, we’re happy that this “Treasure” has found a way to “Shake it Off.”