Recovery Starts Here

Amy Richards, PhD(C), MSN, BSN, RN

My name is Amy Richards, and I have been a registered nurse for over 30 years.  My specialties are Community Outreach, Mental Illness, and Education.  I am an Assistant Professor and Nursing Instructor at Rogers State University in Claremore, OK., and teach in both the Associate Degree and BSN programs.  My mantra is to teach nursing students that mental illness should be treated as a disease, just like hypertension and diabetes.  The stigma of mental illness in our society needs to diminish.

I became involved with Counseling & Recovery Services when a board member who is familiar with my experience asked if I was interested in becoming involved.  As a community health nurse, I was very familiar with the good works of the agency and enthusiastically jumped on board.  I have been a board member for over two years and feel honored to work with such outstanding staff and leaders.

A person would not hesitate to seek help for a broken finger or cough.  However, if a person was hearing voices or had obsessive thoughts, the negative stigma of mental illness in our society may cause them not to seek health.  The agency staff members understand that mental illness is not a choice and each client is treated with dignity, compassion, and privacy. 

I am married to Jim and have three, wonderful children, Gary, Matthew and Abby.  My grandchildren, Hunter, Payton, Bradley, Malachi, and Taylor (all  boys) are the apples of my eye and bring magical happiness to my life.  My mother has supported my nursing career every step of the way, and I owe her thanks for instilling in me the importance of volunteer work.  Additionally, I have horses, cats, and dogs as well as foster rescue animals when the call comes.

My family understands that loving animals is who I am.  Therefore, when I drive off with the horse trailer in tow, my husband knows not to ask me where I’m going.  He knows that I’m on a mission to find good homes for homeless horses and dogs.  My newest is Bella, a beautiful, fluffy Great Pyrenees.  Anyone interested in adopting Bella?

I am pursing my doctoral degree in nursing, and I am working on my dissertation titled “Reducing Test Anxiety with Pre-Licensure Nursing Students Through Animal Therapy.”  Aside from work and school, I love the beach, volunteering at the Tulsa Day Center for the Homeless, and laughing.