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Suzanne Staum LMHC, NCC

Suzanne Staum LMHC, NCC, SpotlightSuzanne Staum is a licensed mental health counselor in Island Hospital’s Psychiatry & Behavioral Health clinic. She completed her Masters in Counseling Psychology at City University of Seattle and has experience working with children, adolescents, families and adults. In addition to her work in the clinic, Suzanne is part of a partnership between Island Hospital and the Anacortes School District (ASD) providing weekly therapy to children referred by the ASD. Suzanne is a member of the Washington Mental Health Counselors Association and the American Mental Health Counselors Association.

Q: Why did you become a mental health therapist?

A: I decided to become a therapist after some significant changes in my life. The transformation I experienced made me realize that I wanted to help others navigate their own challenges and support their efforts toward living more meaningful lives. Becoming a therapist has been very rewarding for me, especially being able to work with the Anacortes School District.

Q: What do you find most challenging about your job?

A: The privilege of sitting with other people's pain can be very difficult. My patients sometimes tell me things they have never told anyone, and learning details of traumas and abuse can be very challenging. Being an advocate for others and part of their healing makes it all worth it.

Q: Who inspires you and why?

A: Resilience always inspires me. I also love being around creative and funny people.

Q: Where did you grow up?

A: I grew up south of Seattle in Renton, WA. I have fond memories of playing outside in the summer with my siblings and visiting our grandparents.

Q: What was your first job?

A: My first job was as a busser at a golf and country club when I was a sophomore in high school.

Q: Hobbies/interests

A: I love gardening and growing flowers. It is very relaxing to me. I also enjoy cooking as there are so many great recipes and it is fun to experiment trying new ones. In addition, I like to read, exercise and travel. My husband and I spend a fair amount of time in Seattle visiting friends and trying new restaurants. We love the culture and diversity of the city. I lived in Seattle for 10 years before I moved to Anacortes in 2000.

Q: Family

A: I am married and have a son. My extended family lives close by as well.

Q: Pets

A: Our house has become a haven for rescue pets. Currently we have two dogs and a cat. We adopted one of the dogs from a shelter but the other two just showed up at our house. Strangely, they all sort of look-alike --- they all sport long white boots.

Q: Favorite book

A: There are too many to list, however, Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl is in my top 10. I also love to read anything by Irvin Yalom. Right now I'm reading a book titled, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking. So far, it's great.

Q: Favorite quote

A: "Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome." --- Booker T. Washington

Q: Favorite music/song/group

A: I love music; most of it anyway! My favorite concert was outdoors at Marymoor Park.

Q: Favorite place to vacation

A: So far, it's Hawaii, Maui to be specific. I love the beaches, warm weather and the people. The air just smells better there. One place that I would really love to visit but have never been is Southeast Asia; Bali would be wonderful but anywhere in Indonesia or Thailand.

Psychiatry & Behavioral Health is located in the lower level of the Medical Office Building, 2511 M Avenue, Suite G, Anacortes. For information or an appointment, please call (360) 299-4297.