July 01, 2021
Tell us a little bit about yourself …
My name is Sarah Petrus, I am a recent graduate from Cal State Long Beach with a Bachelor’s in Community Health Science. I am Connect-OC's newest staff member! I go to Arbor Road Church in Long Beach and am a high school leader with the high school ministry! I love to workout, spend time with friends and family, and all things Disney!
What’s your connection to Orange County?
I am connected to Orange County through family and friends. Much of my community of friends are Orange County based, so I am there often. I have also worked in Huntington Beach and am currently employed at an OC based organization, Partners4Wellness with the Connect-OC Coalition.
Share a little bit about your outlook on life
My outlook on life is reflected through the lens of being a follower of Jesus! Much of how I live my life is reflected by my spirituality, which helps with maintaining a good state of mental health. As a Christian, I am called to love and serve others. Working for a community based organization, I get to put a lot of what I believe into practice. I have been through a lot and have become passionate about walking alongside those who may be going through the same things I went through!
What’s your favorite book?
I just finished reading Live Fearless by Sadie Robertson. It basically talks about Sadie’s story of dealing with anxiety and depression and how she was able to overcome it. She also shares some tips on how to overcome these negative emotions. It also talks about how to conquer fear, which seems to run rampant these days due to COVID and this period of uncertainty of life. It is a book filled with uplifting words and empowers me to live with purpose and live fearlessly!
What’s your favorite self-care activity?
My favorite self-care activity would be to go to the gym. Whenever I am feeling stressed or overwhelmed, I go to the gym, lift some weights, and let off some steam. I also enjoy doing some sort of cardio to bump up my self-esteem and my mood. I definitely take advantage of those happy hormones whenever I can! I come out of my workout feeling a sense of power, confidence, and positivity.
What drew you to community mental health work?
I became interested in mental health because I had dealt with very poor mental health and have seen it happen in those I love, and I didn’t know how to help. This sparked my interest and passion for those struggling with mental health. Mental health is also SO stigmatized, and I want to be able to be a part of the movement to break the stigma and normalize conversations revolving around mental health.
What have you gained from your experience as an intern with Connect-OC?
As an intern with Connect-OC, I have gained so many professional skills and improved my group work skills. I have made so many connections with other organizations in Orange County. I have also been able to practice my public speaking skills, which was always a struggle for me. It has also taught me to be open about my mental health. I went from being afraid to talk about my struggle with mental health to being an open book! I have also become a safe space for friends and family to come to when struggling with their own mental health.
What are you most excited about in your new role as health educator with Connect-OC?
I am so excited to be able to join the Connect-OC team! I look forward to getting to further engage myself with other TAY members of the mental health community! I hope to develop new connections and help support the young adults in the mental health field!
Why attend community mental health events, like those hosted by Connect-OC?
Connect-OC has so many events on so many different topics! Even working behind the scenes of these events, I learn so much and get so much encouragement from the community around me. Attending events like these will give you a sense of belonging, encouragement, and community with people that you can relate to. Connect-OC provides many resources to be connected to, and it makes reaching out for resources much less intimidating. Come join us! You are always welcome at Connect-OC!
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