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March 29, 2023

Staff Spotlight, Shannon Wilcoxson

Staff Spotlight, Shannon Wilcoxson

Tell us about yourself!

Hi everyone, my name is Ro’Shannon Wilcoxson-Jordan, and my preferred name is Shannon. I have been an Emily Program collaborator for three years and 11 months, and that time has flown by. My current primary position is the Practice Manager for The Emily Program’s Eating Disorder Treatment Center in Atlanta, Georgia.  

I began this path as an on-call front desk administrator. After a few months, my supervisor recommended me for a full-time opening. My passion for supporting those in need was evident, and I was hired as the second full-time administrator. 

Over time, the Practice Manager position opened. Although I had just enrolled in my school’s master’s program and was providing support as a therapeutic assistant for our IOP program at the time, I accepted the role. Since growing with The Emily Program, I have learned invaluable information and become a mental health advocate for clients and families battling this illness.

What does a typical day look like for you at The Emily Program?

My primary duty is to ensure that everything at our location is running smoothly and without hiccups. That includes providing the team with the information they require for their clients. I begin the day by checking in with my front desk administrator to see if anything new has transpired since the previous day. I then check in with our excellent medical assistant to inform her of any changes, cancellations, or add-ons to her schedule. 

Once I ensure we are all on the same page, I check in with our Vice President of Child and Adolescent Medicine, Dr. Anna Tanner, and inform her of any crucial changes impacting her schedule that day. After that, I check in with the inpatient front desk team to ensure they are adequately staffed and mentally prepared for potential admissions, visitors, or daily changes. I then review the building’s incoming mail and ensure documents are prepared to be faxed, mailed, or emailed to our various departments and The Emily Program locations. Additionally, I attend daily morning meetings with my fellow leadership colleagues, and we review various concerns with one another and our executive director.

What motivates you to show up for work each day?

Critical thinking and time management skills allow me to stay motivated daily to support our families and peers. Working in mental health is mentally demanding since you support families wrestling with a mixture of emotions. Providing support and validation to our families and my peers is what motivates me every day. Building rapport helps me approach those nuanced struggles of working with different personalities daily.

What piece of advice would you give to those struggling with eating disorders?

Some advice I give our clients is to remember that the recovery journey looks different for everyone. Recovery is not linear; therefore, your voyage to becoming the person you are at peace with will be full of highs and lows. The key is to keep striving and learning to regulate your emotions enough to know not to make a permanent decision on a temporary feeling. Once, I decided to write many helpful phrases that the clients and I would say and tape them all around our building, and they helped remind my peers and me that tough times will eventually pass.

If you could do another job just for a day, what would it be? 

If I could do another job for another day, I would be a travel vlogger. My travel would include being an astronaut vlogger and a deep-sea vlogger. I love watching expeditions of marine biologists and astronauts because the unknown is intriguing.

What’s something you’re really proud of?

I am proud of returning to school to pursue my doctorate in psychology. Funny enough, my mom encouraged me to pursue my master’s in psychology, and Dr. Tanner inspired me to pursue my doctorate. So, several years after graduating college, I am working full-time and attending school full-time. But it’s okay because communities need more mental health advocates in this terrifying time.

What do you like to do when you aren’t working? 

Three things I enjoy doing when I am not working are:

  1. Studying because I love discovering new information
  2. Going to the park because I love people watching
  3. Listening to podcasts because people are fascinating

What’s one thing most people don’t know about you? 

One thing people do not realize about me is that I am an introvert by nature. Sure, I can converse with anyone and crack jokes when the situation calls for one (even sometimes when a joke is entirely inappropriate); however, I am just as relaxed if I am alone and not in a social setting.

Get help. Find hope.