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The Importance of Forgiveness & Education with Ursula Avilus

Posted on August 13, 2020

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What is health? Is it just the absence of being sick or is there something more? What is freedom? Is it the absence of being locked up or is there something more?  What is peace? Is it simply the absence of conflict or is there something more? Welcome to the Something More hosted by Origins Behavioral Healthcare. 

In this episode, we are talking with Ursula Avilus, MSN, RN. Ursula is the nurse manager at the Hanley Center. Ursula has extensive experience in psychiatric nursing and nursing leadership. She is passionate about serving patients with mental illness and addiction and is committed to providing quality patient care. Before transitioning to the Hanley Center, Ursula worked for the State Hospital System in Florida and served civil and forensic psychiatric patients in Texas. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family and traveling.

In this episode, Ursula shares the journey of her own experience with addiction. We talk about the importance of forgiveness and education. We also talk about important practices to help us get through this pandemic, because we are all in this together.

Show Notes:

  • [00:42] We are excited to welcome Ursula Avilus, the nurse manager at the Hanley Center.
  • [02:17] Ursula is a registered nurse and before she became a registered nurse she was actually a social worker. Her heart is in mental health.
  • [04:37] She has always wanted to work in substance abuse as a nurse, but she was afraid at first. She was excited for the opportunity at Hanley.
  • [05:18] She had an uncle that struggled with alcoholism and it affected their entire family.
  • [08:51] Forgiveness has helped her to feel at peace and free. She is not carrying that heavy burden anymore.
  • [09:12] In Haiti, they don’t have substance abuse treatment. Now she is able to educate people in her family and community about substance abuse and alcoholism.
  • [10:17] The earlier the brain is exposed to any type of altering chemical, the more likely they are to develop that disease of addiction.
  • [12:56] Handwashing and wearing masks are very important during the pandemic.
  • [13:34] Social distancing and avoiding big crowds is helpful right now.
  • [15:01] Ursula stays grounded in her faith.
  • [16:46] If we don’t take care of ourselves and our teams, it will trickle down to the patients. Being patient-oriented really helps.
  • [18:37] Anything we can do to keep our patient well is a no brainer for us.
  • [20:18] When people die or recover from addiction, that not only affects their story, but it affects the story of everyone in their lives.
  • [21:44] Forgiveness is critical, important, and a process.
  • [21:55] Education can be a facilitator for forgiveness.
  • [22:05] If we are going to get through this pandemic, we have to do it all together.


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