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Celebrating Women’s Voices for International Women’s History Month

During International Women’s History month, we had the privilege of interviewing two of our Momentum colleagues to gain insight into their experiences and learn more about their journeys as women in the behavioral health field.

Bindu Khurana-Brown
Associate Director, Crisis Stabilization Unit and Mobile Response

What does the work of mental health and substance use recovery mean to you?

Our work allows us to be a force in people’s lives when they may be at their lowest. It is a humbling job for an individual to open up their vulnerabilities, fears, and worries with the hope that we will have the words to shift their current experience. It is work that I do not enter into lightly and am grateful every time someone is willing to listen to a suggestion, thought or alternate way of looking at their current situation.

What is your favorite movie, book, song, or podcast?

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. It was the first time I really saw Indians in an American movie!

How is Women’s History Month meaningful to you?

It carves out our importance that is often overshadowed and underrecognized. Women are the cornerstone of society in numerous ways and are still not valued for all we contribute. Our ability to bear and raise children, work in depth on mathematical equations, earn a living in factories during wartime, and even coordinate staff celebration events! You will find women in every facet of the human experience, and we rarely ask for the recognition of our efforts. To have a month dedicated to the larger influence of our contributions allows us to increasingly improve our overall visibility.

Where do you draw strength from?

Not to sound too cheesy, but many times, our clients. As I sit and listen to stories of trauma and hardship, I also see a profound strength to continue forward. Some days are harder than others, but when they pick up the phone or knock on our front door and say I need help, that takes a level of strength that is unmatched. Many individuals from marginalized communities have to make their voices louder to be heard and it puts all the other issues that we deal with on a daily basis to their true magnitude, which is small by comparison. If the individuals we help can keep putting one foot in front of the other, I can exhale and respond to that email or come up with a creative solution to also keep me moving forward.

Who has served as a role model for you in life?

Mahatma Gandhi has always been a role model for me. He moved in ways that allowed his actions to speak louder and larger than his words. As a therapist by training and a manager by day, I have to remember that my actions have the potential to have impact and I don’t take that responsibility lightly. It was a switch to move away from always feeling that I need to have the right words, to understanding that being present, having compassion, and ensuring inherent dignity are powerful tools to be the change I want to see in the world.

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Donna Gallienne, MSc, LMFT
Lead Clinician II/Clinical Outreach

What does the work of mental health and substance use recovery mean to you?

Working as a clinician is my passion and a career that I have worked towards for over two decades with a couple of detours along the way for family. I love what I do鈥攖he work and collaboration in the therapeutic space is unique; it is a soul-to-soul connection, which is rare to have in the busy pace of life.

What is your favorite movie, book, song, or podcast?

My favourite book is ‘Unbroken’ by Laura Hillenbrand. The resiliency and strength of the character is inspiring to me.

How is Women’s History Month meaningful to you?

Women are amazing; we are typically the unsung heroes in every facet of life. I am proud to be raising two boys who treat women respectfully, and two girls who have so much strength and attitude to get them where they want to be.

Where do you draw strength from?

I grew up in a working-class neighborhood in England. I’ve always strived for something different for myself and future generations. This upbringing has instilled in me an inner strength that I draw upon daily, shaping me as a parent, clinician, friend, and partner.

Who has served as a role model for you in life?

I am very grateful to have had many fantastic role models throughout each phase and twist and turn of my life. They inspire me to love more and be better.