Meet Mack Nock!
Like all of our Supportive Services Coordinators, Mack has a natural leaning and unwavering commitment toward others. It’s a trait that is difficult to pinpoint its beginning; the moment when it arrived and became the lens through which Mack viewed and navigated the world.
“I’ve always wanted to help others,” Mack tells me, “I remember in high school having more than one instance in which a friend of mine died from suicide. That was the first time I remember beginning to think about helping others in this holistic health way.
“I remember asking those questions, ‘How do we approach holistic health?’ Because by any standard that we had at the time to evaluate health – these kids were healthy. Yet, somehow they were still in such need, still experiencing a certain lack of health, that they didn’t see any way out. I wanted to know how we could identify those markers of need and address them.”
This set Mack on his path. He began with getting his undergraduate degree in Social Work. As he began working within the healthcare field, however, it seemed as though mental health and any associated trauma was always at the heart of the issue.
“It’s difficult to address any behavior modification without addressing where the behavior comes from. Our brain is really good at creating habits and behaviors based on our life experiences. If we come from an environment lacking in safety and love, our brain will create ways to navigate that as a form of survival, even if our environment changes.
“For that reason, providing a new environment – shelter, access to food and resources – isn’t always the whole solution. Those things don’t undo the mental and emotional pathways a person has created to navigate a life of lack.”
This realization pushed Mack into a further exploration of mental health and trauma, earning him a certificate in Addiction Recovery and the decision to pursue his Master’s in the same field this year.
But, for Mack, it’s not the knowledge of the material that makes the difference. It will always be creating genuine relationships with others that will make the difference.
“People don’t want to feel like another cog in the wheel. Many people here at Cornerstone have experienced that – they get the same bundle of resources as anyone else who walks through the door. They get the same lecture on needing to quit destructive habits. And I’m in no way referring to any specific organization or trying to place blame on anyone. I just mean it’s hard to go deeper into addressing someone’s needs unless you can count on seeing them routinely and reliably, and often that just isn’t possible.
“That’s what I love about Archway, and that’s my goal as a Coordinator here, to be reliable. I’m here every day, the residents know that I’m a resource day in and day out. I’m not trying to move mountains in one day, I just want the residents to see that I care about them.
“And caring for someone can mean simply being curious about them. Asking more than just the, ‘how are things going?’ When people feel as though they are seen and important it makes all the difference.”
Ultimately, it’s this genuine care and connection to others that gives a chance for longer lasting improvement. Human connection is what gives life. This has been Mack’s goal from the moment he arrived at Cornerstone, and we couldn’t be more proud of his unrelenting work. And that extends to all of our Coordinators, who have done amazing things at each of our properties.