[Podcast] Why Mental Health Is Key To Healthy Teams with Irene Kraegel

Irene Kraegel Podcast

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From the Vanderbloemen Leadership Podcast, we’re excited to bring you our one-on-one series with Christian leaders to share their insights on a variety of leadership topics, all through the lens of faith.

On today's show, Brian Jensen, executive search consultant, speaks with Irene Kraegel, Director of the Center for Counseling and Wellness at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, MI.

Brian and Irene talk about the impact of mental health throughout the Kingdom, how to nurture healthy communities and institutions, and considerations for employers when hiring recent college graduates.

About Irene

As the director of the Center for Counseling and Wellness, I have a keen interest in supporting emotional flourishing for students during their time at Calvin. This is based on a lifetime of personal and professional growth that has led me to believe that every individual is equipped to face the challenges of life through their own unique set of strengths and resources. Nurturing these God-given resources is what we're all about at our center.

My own path toward a helping profession began early in life, when frequent moves around the United States nurtured an interest and adaptability to different cultures and experiences. As a result of these early exposures, I love to experience new things, and I embrace the beautiful diversity within the world God has created. I have spent time living in Uganda on two separate occasions – both as an undergraduate student and a graduate student – and I expected my career path after college to lead into International Development. To my surprise, I had difficulty finding a vocational fit within this field, and I became drawn to the field of psychology through an exploration of my skill set and interests that occurred three years after college graduation. This led me to attend graduate school in psychology, where I discovered a sense of counseling as a true calling.

I enjoy being in nature, drinking coffee, eating ice cream, reading, playing/singing music and spending time with my husband and son. I ride the bus or bike to work whenever I can, and I believe strongly in supporting the thriving of local communities. Keeping my carbon footprint small is important to me (so don't be alarmed if you see me working in my office with the lights off...) Also, I love my job!

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