Learner Profile: Impacting the leaders of tomorrow by sharing mental health tools today

Rebecca Krulick, a child and youth care worker at LHSC.

May 23, 2024

Rebecca Krulick has always felt compassion for others, and it was this desire to help families and children that drew her to a career in child and youth care (CYC).  

“I’ve always been passionate about working with children, and more specifically, in the mental health field,” she explained. “We are all impacted by mental health, and I chose to go through the mental health path and CYC program because it focuses on supporting families and children with social, emotional and behavioural challenges.”

A recent graduate of the CYC program at Fanshawe College, Rebecca joined Children’s Hospital at London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) for a work placement during her final year of the program. For four months, she joined the Child and Adolescent Mental Health program, where she was given the opportunity to practice her learning in a practical setting.

Rebecca’s placement provided a chance to experience key aspects of CYC in a clinical setting, including collaboration with a multidisciplinary care team and developing therapeutic rapport and relationships with patients. This valuable experience was an opportunity for professional and personal growth through self-reflection.

“One thing that became very clear for me throughout my placement was the importance of self-awareness,” said Rebeccca. “We need to ensure we’re checking our own emotions and feelings to stay objective and provide support to our best ability. By reflecting on my own actions and behaviours, I can ensure that what I’m doing is intentional and effective to the patient’s overall plan of care and needs.”

Upon joining Team LHSC, Rebecca’s passion for helping people was met equally in support and guidance from her placement supervisor, Jessica Campbell.

“She was an incredible support and someone I could really lean on to provide guidance in an open and honest manner,” Rebecca recalled. “I never once hesitated to come to her with questions that I had.”

Beyond her direct supervisor, Rebecca’s learning was supported by a multidisciplinary team of nurses, social workers, psychologists, and other CYCs.

“Everyone was incredibly welcoming and gave me opportunities to learn and grow,” she said. “I never once felt like an outsider – everyone really embraced me and used my skill set to help give patients the care they needed.”

At the conclusion of her placement, Rebecca was hired to continue with the Child and Adolescent Mental Health program. Having already become accustomed to the fundamental policies and procedures during her placement, she was able to focus on building her own therapeutic style and approach.

“Gaining a general understanding of how the unit functions and operates to ensure patient safety was really important,” she explained. “In a CYC role, you need to bring an element of who you are as a person because that’s how you create therapeutic relationships and positively influence patients, but it’s important to have those foundational policies under your belt first.”

As she grows in her role as a CYC, Rebecca is driven by hope and the opportunity to impact future leaders by providing critical mental health tools and resources to the youth of today.

“Children and youth are our future. One day, they will grow up to be parents, leaders and teachers – they will be the ones that shape the future. Providing them with the necessary tools and resources to cope with challenges now will allow them to meet their potential and grow to their full capabilities.”