Ten Questions with Duncan Brown

Brown Duncan 1Tell me a little about yourself – your background and your education.

I graduated with a Master’s Degree in Social Work in 1995 from Ohio State University and currently hold licenses in Clinical Social Work and Clinical Addictions Counseling through Indiana.  I have worked with kids and families through community mental health and for an alternative school, have done crisis work, and worked with adults with a myriad of mental health difficulties.

How long have you worked for Aspire?

I have been with Aspire for over 11 years this time around.  I also worked for Tri-County/BehaviorCorp from 1997-1999 prior to that.

What positions have you held with Aspire?

I have been an intake clinician and outpatient therapist, Manager of the ACT Team, and Director of the Carmel and Noblesville Outpatient offices

Describe your current position, including your responsibilities?

As the Noblesville OP Director I provide clinical and administrative supervision to 11 therapists and our Outpatient Services Supervisor, Susan Cantin, who supervises our intake team and special contracts with Riverview and Hamilton County Community Corrections.  I help facilitate clinical staffing and run administrative staff meetings. I participate in community meetings to grow and build relationships within Noblesville and Hamilton County.  I review and monitor budgets, policy and procedure compliance, and quality improvement initiatives.

What does a typical day as Outpatient Services Director look like? 

It varies but includes individual supervision, clinical staffing, staff meetings, participation in Aspire committee and management meetings, meeting with other community providers and agencies, meeting with consumers, and providing back-up for clinical care on occasion.  Also, I write and read lots of e-mails!  Although it is difficult, I am trying to take more time to read and research topics in our field to think more proactively about what direction we need to move in.

What in your educational background and work experience prepared you for your current position?

I think my education provided me with a good start, but my work experiences have really been what’s prepared me for my current position.  In my career, I have been fortunate enough to work with and manage the care of a wide range of clients in terms of age and problem areas.  I have also worked with great people here at Aspire and had really quality mentors.

If you weren’t working in this field, what would you be doing?

I had considered being a high school history teacher early on and still love history.  I use to joke that I wished I could be the guy up in the chopper doing traffic for the news; I still think that would be fun.  I also think Pastoral Counseling would have been a good fit for me.

What is it that drew you to the field of mental health?

Initially a lot of idealism that had to intersect with reality in the field for a few years; this evolved into a desire to help people change their own thoughts and circumstances that help keep them from meeting their goals, and to find their own recovery.

What impact do you feel your work has had on Aspire and its clients?

I believe that my role is to ensure access to efficient and quality care, to support my staff and encourage them to strive for better outcomes, and to try and support making Aspire a great place to work.

What things do you do to help you cope with the demands of your job?

At work I try and maintain lots of lists and prompts to help me remember all of the details I need to remember; I also try to keep a good sense a humor and love to laugh.  Outside of work I focus on my family—my wife, three sons, and a daughter and spending time with them. I like running to stay in shape—it is really a great stress reliever and natural anti-depressant .  We are active in our church and I have found that when I am following Jesus Christ first, I am able to cope with all things and am on the right track.

Duncan Brown is the Outpatient Services Director at Aspire Indiana’s Noblesville outpatient facility. While the beliefs and opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of Mr. Brown, you can learn more about Aspire Indiana at https://www.facebook.com/AspireIndiana.  You can also follow Mr. Brown on Twitter @WDuncanBrown.

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