Stark CSU Staff Spotlight – Ashley Fuller

Sep 8, 2021 | Blog

A Commitment to Trauma-Informed Care

While Ashley Fuller has been a licensed counselor with Coleman Health Services since 2018, she had been interested in the graduate internship available at Coleman Health Services since the program began in 2017. 

“Trauma-informed care offers a warmer, more caring approach that helps build trust,” Fuller observed. “It provides a calm and non-judgmental environment where clients feel safe and more comfortable to discuss their concerns. Coleman offers a compassionate approach to counseling that doesn’t condemn the client, but instead provides them with a safe place, so they feel more comfortable to express their trauma and emotions more openly.”

Trauma-informed care offers understanding and healing:

  • Recognizing the signs and symptoms of trauma
  • Actively avoiding re-traumatization
  • Directing powerful paths for recovery

Ashley started her work in the field as a case manager at Coleman before pursuing a graduate degree in counseling. “Coleman offered both the opportunities and the experience I was seeking,” she noted. “I’ve always been interested in psychology and trauma-informed care at Coleman is a respected community of care with broad-reaching avenues to support that really address individual, holistic healing and wellness.” 

At a personal level, Ashley’s purpose and values aligned with Coleman’s core principles for trauma-informed care – even before she had any idea how trauma-informed was defined.

Coleman core principles of trauma-informed care:

  • Safety – We provide an environment where clients feel physically and emotionally safe
  • Trustworthiness & Transparency – Treatment plans are discussed with openness and transparency
  • Peer Support – Shared experiences are vital to recovery, especially when they are integrated into a personalized plan of care
  • Collaboration – Shared decision-making helps clients own their plan for recovery
  • Empowerment – Healing from trauma promotes resiliency
  • Humility & Responsiveness – We promote a working culture where all biases, prejudices, stereotypes and historical trauma are recognized and addressed

Helping Build a Community of Trauma-Informed Support

The compassionate trauma-informed approach to person-centered care that Fuller first became attracted to has been transformational for many Coleman clients. It’s an approach that recognizes that most people have experienced a number of traumatic events in their lifetime – whether acute, chronic or complex. 

Trauma-informed care at Coleman Health Services, takes into consideration the widespread physical, social, and emotional impact trauma can have on an individual. 

Beyond providing access and facilitating active support, Ashley also helped to secure grants and stipends to bolster overall operations – from the OhioMHAS grant to serve out of county residents to support from the United Way and the Akron Canton Food Bank to feed resident clients.

Making a Difference

Throughout her Coleman career, Fuller was able to actively advocate for patients and help support grant funding activities, crisis intervention, group counseling and individual counseling. She retold a story from the Coleman Stabilization Unit, We had a patient who went from not caring for himself, not helping himself, to reaching out to staff and actively engaging in groups. In fact, he loved group therapy so much it became a tremendous motivation for recovery,” she offered. “It was impressive how quickly he rebounded. When he left the facility, he had so much confidence in his recovery. It was really inspirational.”

Ashely has transitioned into a management position with Coleman Health Services. Today Ashley is the Director of the Coleman Stabilization Unit. And she credits all of her working experience and internship for offering her the education and experience to make this leadership position possible. “My internship has been a huge steppingstone in my career,” Fuller explained. “I love that I’m able to make a real impact on peoples’ lives – offering hope in the middle of a crisis and leading clients toward healing and recovery. Clients have actually called me back and thanked me for being there to support them through their difficulties. It’s truly fulfilling work – knowing I have made a positive difference in someone’s life.”