Meet The Westwind Staff - Lauren Paquette
In this edition of "Meet The Westwind Staff", we are asking five questions of one of Westwind's Registered Dietitians, Lauren Paquette.
1) WHAT LED YOU TO WESTWIND?
A) When I was training to become a dietitian I had requested during my internship to do a rotation in mental health and eating disorders hoping to one-day work in this area. When I graduated there was nothing available in this field. A few years after working as a dietitian my partner and I moved to the Brandon area where I discovered there was a term position at Westwind available and applied immediately. That term turned into 7 amazing years working at Westwind. We eventually moved back to the Winnipeg area and I was very sad to have to leave. Due to innovations in technology I am now excited to be back working for Westwind doing online work with clients.
2. WHAT HAS INSPIRED YOU ABOUT WORKING IN MENTAL HEALTH?
A) Working on recovery from an eating disorder is challenging. It is hard work and the path to recovery is not a smooth road. Reaching out for support and taking that first step I find inspiring and shows true strength. I believe recovery is possible for everyone and I am so grateful to be a part of so many of your recovery journeys.
3. WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR WORK AT WESTWIND?
A) Working at Westwind has been amazing. To be able to work with clients in a collaborative way where I get to design recovery plans that are unique to each individuals needs, likes and preferences not only fits with Westwind's philosophy but my own as well. I am passionate about nutrition and wellness and am here to help challenge the eating disorder while sharing knowledge and facts about food and nutrition. I never get tired of the work and love meeting so many amazing people. Also I cannot say enough about the staff at Westwind. They are amazing and incredibly supportive. It is such a positive place to be. I am still sad that I no longer get to physically come into work, yet so grateful that I am still working with Westwind remotely online.
4. IF YOU COULD SAY ONE THING TO SOMEONE SEEKING TREATMENT, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
A) Recovery is hard work yet is so worth it. I often hear many say they feel in control with the eating disorder yet true control comes when one is free from their eating disorder as that is when you are truly free from your mind. Recovery is working on healing the body, mind and soul and that is truly empowering.
5. WHAT'S ONE THING YOU PRACTICE TO MAINTAIN POSITIVE MENTAL HEALTH?
A) I love to bring into my day gratitude's. Taking moments to slow down and remind myself of what I am grateful for such as a beautiful moon when driving home from working late. I love playing soccer, spending time with my family and also spending time with myself to unwind which unfortunately sometimes results in staying up a bit too late. My goal for the last year is to go to bed earlier and I am excited to say things have been improving. Change takes time and by building upon our success and learning from our challenges helps all of us move forward.