A values-driven organization identifies its values through a process of self-examination.  This involves identifying the organizational purpose, the needs of the customer, assessing all strengths, deficits, and opportunities, as well as threats to the organization’s mission. It also entails taking an extensive and comprehensive 360 degree look at the entire organization, in other words, a non-compromising organizational soul-searching.

At Crestwood Behavioral Health, Inc. this self-examination involves a view of our organization, our communities, and our purpose which stems from four different perspectives.


The first view we examine is from the perspective of the organizational leadership which consists of our Board of Directors, Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer, executive leadership, program administrators and campus leadership.  Next we include our front line staff, mid-management staff and program supervisory staff.  This provides perspectives from all viewpoints in Crestwood.

The next vantage point that is vital to gaining the company’s full perspective is the client and family support system stakeholder group. This involves creating a safe space for our clients and their family voices to be heard.  The client and family are the primary voices to be listened to and it may take time, support and compassion to enable this perspective to be fully shared. At Crestwood we see this as the responsibility of the organizational leadership. One way we do this is to employ people with lived experience and have family members at the executive, management and front-line staff level job positions.

The next perspective that we include is from our county partners, customers, and the communities we provide services to. This perspective enables us to understand the needs of the community and provides the opportunity to develop and enhance meaningful relationships with our partners so we can better understand and anticipate the needs of the communities we work with.

Crestwood has developed its mission and values from gathering all of these different perspectives. Crestwood’s mission is to create a partnership with clients, employees, families, business associates and the community in caring for individuals of all ages affected by mental health issues. Together, we invest our energy to enhance the quality of life, social integration, community support and empowerment of mental health clients.  Crestwood promotes wellness and recovery by providing quality and cost-effective programs in a socially responsible manner, and works with families and communities to reduce the stigma associated with mental illness.

The values that were developed from this framework are simple and come from the heart. Crestwood’s values are family, compassion, enthusiasm, flexibility, character and commitment. It is through these values that Crestwood views all aspects of our operations. These values reflect the strength and vulnerability of Crestwood, with a focus on trauma-informed approaches with love and gratitude for the people and communities we serve and the staff and partners we work with.

Crestwood views all decisions, strategies, goals and objectives, and benchmarks for success based on these values.  Our organization is driven to achieve objectives and goals relying on the courage and strength to maintain the highest level of integrity, while honoring these shared values.

Having this values-driven perspective has allowed us to grow as partners in services with other community-based organizations such as Recovery Innovations, Turning Point and Dreamcatchers Empowerment Network. The understanding and recognition that our county and community partners provide the foundation for our services, enables Crestwood to develop community specific services, with the values of the community intertwined with Crestwood’s values.

The opening of our MHRC programs in San Diego and Chula Vista are an excellent example of involving all of these perspectives.  Crestwood worked very closely with the county and community leaders to identify the needs.  The community-based providers and hospitals helped Crestwood to find the right locations for the programs. The recruitment of employees was focused on hiring people with lived experience and allowing them to provide a strong client voice, as well having family members involved at all levels of service. We worked to include the voices of Crestwood San Diego’s and Crestwood Chula Vista’s leadership teams so that they could participate in all elements of program development, making it strong and reflecting all of Crestwood’s mission and values.

By being a values-driven organization and continuing to take a full 360 degree look at ourselves and our services, Crestwood will continue to grow and provide the best care possible for our clients and the communities we serve.

Contributed by: Patty Blum, PhD, Crestwood Vice President