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Q&A with Jun Matsuyoshi, LCSW, Director of Behavioral Health Services

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  • Written By: Apicha Community Health Center

Jun Matsuyoshi has served as Director of Behavioral Health Services at Apicha Community Health Center since 2010. She coordinates psychosocial assessments, crisis intervention services, and counseling for all patients at Apicha Community Health Center.

She is a graduate of NYU with a Master's in Social Work and brings with her over twenty years of experience providing mental health counseling for Public Health Solutions, Project Hospitality, Montefiore Hospital, and Health and Hospital Corporation.

Her dedication to the communities we serve is evidenced in her prior work experience and membership on the Board of Directors for Apicha CHC from 1994-2004.

1. What Do You Like Most About Your Profession?

As a social worker, I like the various opportunities that are available to social workers. These opportunities include being a teacher, an administrator, a clinician, and even a politician. Social work allows me to be creative while helping people.

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2. What Do You Find Most Challenging About Working in Behavioral Health?

The most challenging aspect of the work is when patients have the opportunity to effect better outcomes but are not able to take advantage of such an opportunity. For example, people living with chronic medical conditions must change their lifestyles and take medication but have difficulty making such changes.

3. Why Did You First Decide to Join Apicha CHC?

I have observed Apicha CHC’s growth since its inception. I am excited to be part of this growth. As the first Director of Mental Health Services, I have been tasked with developing mental health services for clinic patients. It is a privilege to start new things.

4. In Your Opinion, What Are the Three Most Important Adjectives of a Professional Working In Behavioral Health? Why?

“Creativity”: The work of a mental health professional is to communicate with people, so one must find a way of reaching an individual. It is necessary to shape ideas so that patients will be receptive.

“Interest”: Patients will be helped if they feel that the professional is interested in them. The work of the professional is to stimulate the patient’s own interest in himself and to question why s/he thinks and behaves the way they do.

“Organization”: The professional must remember details of patients’ lives in order to make use of information and help patients organize their own material. The professional must coordinate with other staff, make referrals, and complete documentation; such tasks require attention to detail.

5. How Do You Establish Trust With Your Patients?

Establishing trust means adhering to certain principles. I consider the following to be most important:

First – Doing what I say I will do, and delivering on promises. Second – Adhere to boundaries, such as starting and ending appointments on time. And lastly, being sincere: I do not say things that I do not mean.

6. What Do You Enjoy Most Outside of Work?

I enjoy cooking, running, and art. I find cooking therapeutic and creative. Running helps me to “zone out.” By the time the run is finished, I often have the solution to something. I enjoy museums, books, and performances. It is a privilege to enter other peoples’ worlds. Art enables people to speak to us across time and space.