Mental Health Strike at Kaiser Oakland - 01/01/2024 at 7pm - Learn More >>

Julie Siegel Turner

Julie Siegel Turner is a psychiatric social workers who comes from a family of therapists — and union members.

What inspired you to pursue a career in behavioral health?

I decided to become a therapist when I was in high school. Both of my parents are LCSWs, and I have a few aunts who are social workers. I found myself listening to others’ issues, intrigued by their resolve to find a way through hurt, sadness, grief, or pain. It felt good to know that listening to others and offering ideas was helpful for them. I also struggled with my own identity as a teen. Being biracial, with a Jewish father and Chinese mother, had its challenges. It was through my own self-exploration, some done on my own and some in therapy as a college student, that I was able to find me. Those experiences solidified my plans to be a therapist — I wanted to help people find that same peace within that I found, have support during the journey, and to live authentically as themselves.

How has being in NUHW helped you in your profession?

Being part of a union was, without question, going to be a part of my life. Both my parents were union members, and I remember hearing them talk about how important it was to be a part of a union. I think NUHW has been the most helpful union thus far in my career, as it has really taken the time to understand the role of a therapist at Kaiser. NUHW has helped us navigate the many challenges mental health departments face at Kaiser, both in the clinic and in a broader sense. NUHW has been the only union that has focused this much energy on mental health, a core element of taking care of ourselves and others. I don’t know of any other union that has helped pass legislation to help its members in the way NUHW has. It feels good to be part of a union that knows us, knows our needs, and wants to not only help our patients but also workers.

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