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Staff Spotlight: Keili Trottier

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Clinical Manager, Substance Use Services, Community Rehabilitation and Treatment

Clinical Manager Keili Trottier would not have guessed that serving clients struggling with substance use challenges would be her ideal career destination. Now, she finds herself in a unique position of non-judgment when working with clients of United Counseling Service’s (UCS) Substance Use Services (SUD) and Community Rehabilitation and Treatment (CRT) divisions. Almost 20 years have passed since Keili arrived at UCS, and she still loves the work she does.

“I like working in mental health and substance use services, which is interesting because I never thought I would work in that field,” says Keili. “I love what I’m doing. It will be 20 years in July.”

Her journey at UCS started with an internship in Developmental Services that turned into a full time job in one of UCS’ group homes. She transitioned to a family outreach internship in the Children, Youth and Family Services (CYFS) division, where she worked with clients experiencing complex mental health issues. She loved the work, serving as a clinical manager at CYFS and then landing in her current division—Outpatient Mental Health. Keili’s position as Clinical Manager of SUD and CRT Services involves a lot of problem solving and providing support to both staff and clients. Whether it’s talking a coworker through an issue as she walks from one office building to another, or guiding clients in therapeutic conversations in one of the groups she facilitates, there is always someone to help.

One of the biggest ways Keili helps clients is by getting them to recognize their own worth.

“I enjoy helping clients to not just reach their goals but identify that they are worthy to reach their goals,” says Keili. “I believe in them, and oftentimes they have a hard time seeing that. We all make mistakes—that’s part of human nature. Their mistakes and their pasts don’t define them. They are worth it, and they are important.”

Keili’s job as a Clinical Manager means that she provides supervision and support to other clinicians in her division. Because the work of an outpatient mental health clinician involves working with people, being affected by the emotional aspects of the job is inevitable. Keili encourages her team to make self-care a priority to avoid burnout. She knows firsthand how important it is to set boundaries and practice a good work-life balance. 12 years ago, she did not know how to shut down from work, and the result was exhaustion and burnout. She realized the value of taking time off and shutting off work mode. “You can’t possibly hold everything for everybody all the time,” says Keili. “At some point, it has to be about you. My kids come first, and my family comes first.”

Feeling energized and avoiding burnout helps her provide even more to her clients, as well as herself and her family. She feels supported at UCS in her own boundary setting and has never felt a pushback when she needs to be home with her family. She unplugs from work and spends time with her family cooking dinner, going on hikes, and enjoying any and all bodies of water. Whether it’s visiting the ocean or swimming in the river, Keili and her family enjoy it all.

Her self-care routine includes plenty of reading and writing poetry when the mood strikes. She spends an hour or so reading with a cup of coffee before her family wakes up every morning. She also enjoys spending time with her animals, including her dog, two cats, and pet chicken who sleeps safely inside the house each night in a dog crate.

For Keili, balance is the key to a happy life at home and at work. She sets limits and makes time for the things that are most important. “I can take care of people, including my family, and do my best work,” says Keili. “It’s been good for my own family and our mental health.”

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