October 12, 2021
Region Ten Staff Profile: Cynthia Lockley
Name and Position at Region Ten: My name is Cynthia Lockley and I am an Administrative Support Staff member at Region Ten.
Where are you from? I grew up in southern Albemarle County in a small community called Esmont.
What drew you to the mental health field? I believe it is my passion to help people, and in particular people with mental health concerns. Before coming to work at Region Ten I worked as a cashier in my family’s local convenience store. There was a gentleman who worked there and had an intellectual disability and mental health concerns. This man was also a family friend, and I took a special interest in him after learning that his mental health concerns were causing people to take advantage of him. I wanted to help, and while working together I began teaching him numbers and how to write his name. Eventually, he was able to write down the dollar amounts from the gas pump in order to ensure that customers were reporting the correct amount of gas purchased. He also learned to write his name in cursive. I enjoyed working with him and knew that I had the patience and gifts to work in the mental health field.
What are some of the highlights in your professional career? Since coming to work at Region Ten more than 20 years ago I have had multiple positions, and they all have been very rewarding. My first position was as a Community Builder in Supported Employment, which is now part of Meadowcreek Center, integrating consumers in the community and helping them to improve social and relationship skills. In this position, I worked with two gentlemen as their job coach. They both worked at a local hotel, and they were able to learn how to clean the hotel rooms and be successful in the work environment.
I also worked as an Employment Specialist and Community Services Associate at Blue Ridge House where I was able to place and support individuals on jobs in the community. Two out of the four individuals whom I worked with are still employed today! As the CSA at Blue Ridge House I taught consumers how to prep and prepare meals, and I often hear that they continue to miss my apple pie, and corn pudding recipes!
Before moving to my recent position in accounting, I worked as a Support Staff before being promoted to Office Manager at the Region Ten Peterson Counseling Center. This position was very family-oriented. The consumers constantly showed gratitude for help with answering questions, returning phone calls, responding to crisis situations, and lending a caring ear.
What do you enjoy about your work at Region Ten? I have enjoyed working in this field, meeting new people, making friends, and being a team player.
What does Depression Awareness Month mean to you? It is important to bring more awareness to mental health issues in our community. I believe that if stakeholders and everyone at Region come together to educate people at every opportunity we will one day stop the stigma related to mental illnesses. My hope is that we can assist those who are suffering from depression, and any other mental health or substance use concerns, so that people feel comfortable enough to reach out and get the help that they need to live successfully in their communities.