Shelley Rush knew since she was a child that mental health would be an important aspect of her life. She grew up in a home where her father had severe depression and was hospitalized because of his depression. When Shelley was 7, her family doctor took her aside, explained what depression was and told her that mental health and physiological health are equally important. This doctor shared with Shelley an important stigma-breaking message early in her life; that having a mental health issue is not differentiated from having a physical health issue, and that it does pose any judgement on a person, it simply has to be seen as a health issue.

This message planted a seed in Shelley, she began to realize this was something she wanted to help others understand and experience. A stigma-free space where physical and mental health are seen as equally important and both are addressed in a holistic way.

These experiences guided Shelley to go to school to become a therapist. As soon as she finished school she worked as a solo practitioner, concurrently with other doctors, to learn how different therapeutic modalities were implemented and understand the business side of running a practice. The dream of Rush and Associates began to unfold.

With such a strong vision and passion, patience was one of the most challenging pieces of the puzzle as Shelley began to build her practice. Patience began to pay off, however, as Shelley began to grow a team of diverse practitioners in an organic way through the process of mentoring.

“I just wanted to be able to share what they brought into the space with other people because I have the most amazing team. I have the most incredible group of people that I get to work with.” It is important to Shelley that the team provide each other with a sense of safety and support; “we are human after all, and I want to recognize the humanness in all of us”

As the Rush and Associates team grows, so does the strong sense of community that Shelley brings with her to her work. Despite the challenges that the pandemic has brought on, the Rush and Associates team holds on to the vision of offering expanded services such as naturopathy, massage therapy, acupuncture, and/or osteopathy in a space that makes individuals, families, couples, children and staff feel welcome and comfortable. Shelley knows that diversity is an important aspect of this, “I lived and worked for some time in Korea and when I was there, I understood a little bit about what it felt like to be on the outside. I became drawn to wanting to be able to provide a space where everybody would feel welcome and can see themselves represented.”

Providing accessible care is another important aspect of the work. Rush and Associates currently works with Victims Services to provide affordable mental health services to trauma survivors. The goal is to expand this work to communities that experience food and housing insecurity.

Shelley believes that an integrated, community approach to mental and physical health can support clients to get to a place where they feel good in their own skin. To support them in developing confidence and strength so they feel capable of being part of the world and to move forward in their journey, whatever that journey is. With the opportunity to look after their minds and their bodies, they can become stronger and more resilient in the world.

“How they feel ripples out into their community. I believe that work that we want to do with those expanded services will help people bring confident and strong energy to their world and then that can have a positive ripple effect.”

Interested in learning more? Meet the Rush & Associates Team or Contact Us