Name: Jacinta Lisauskaite
Role: Youth Mental Health First Aid Liaison
Hometown: Alytus, Lithuania
Favorite colors: white, sand color, coral
What brought you to Mental Health First Aid Colorado? I remember the day when I came back from school, laid down on my bed, and stared at the ceiling for hours. It was a new experience for a highly motivated, active, and studious seventeen year old. Mental health was a taboo topic in Eastern Europe in those days. My friends, relatives, and teachers did not understand what was happening to me and as depression symptoms worsened, they stepped back in fear, discomfort, and helplessness, which in turn worsened my condition. I could not even put a name to that which was destroying my life. I promised myself that if I ever get better, I would help others. It was only when I found hope through faith that I started moving towards recovery. Five years later, I am a completely different person, and I want to help others who are going through pain that I experienced when I was a youth.
Over the last couple of years, I worked with youth as an outdoor leader where I learned how to work with groups. In college, I studied psychology and pursued activities that helped me to gain a deeper understanding of myself and others.
What is your favorite part about working here? My experience working with the MHFACO staff has been great since the first day I met them. It is wonderful to work with people who are passionate and motivated to make a difference in others’ lives. I feel very blessed to be around professionals who are very supportive of my goals and are willing to invest their time and energy to see me develop and succeed.
Describe a time when you used MHFA or YMHFA strategies: Recently, one of my close relatives was visiting town. Instead of my natural response to react to relational tension, I was able to respond with non-judgmental listening and kindly affirm their thoughts and emotions. I am very thankful for the valuable skills taught in YMHFA and how I can use them in my daily life.
If you could assign a superpower to ALGEE the Koala, what would it be? ALGEE could sense, interpret, and help a person identify their emotions.
Jacinta works to support CBHC’s MHFACO Initiative, and for the Central Colorado Area Health Education Center (CCAHEC) as a Youth Mental Health First Aid Liaison and AmeriCorps volunteer. She looks forward to contributing to the blog by interviewing MHFA Instructors and mental health service providers in Colorado, as well as sharing more about her experience.