The Adjustment Team’s COO, Cynthia Sampson, provides valuable help for families dealing with mental health
Cynthia Sampson is a born and bred Southern California gal. Currently living in Westchester, Sampson not only has a sharp business mind, but also a giant heart for those in society considered the most vulnerable: The mentally ill.
After attending Venice High School, Sampson studied business at Cal State Northridge. Little did she know then that taking a $7-an-hour receptionist job would lead her down a deeply meaningful and rewarding career path.
27 years later, Sampson is now Chief Operations Officer for The Life Adjustment Team, a group of highly skilled and empathetic social workers and Master’s level clinicians working together to help people with mental illness live independently in the community.
The Life Adjustment Team was founded by Pete Linnett back in 1977, and for Sampson, Linnett was more than just a boss, he proved to be a very influential mentor. “We have a very synchronistic relationship,” says Sampson. “He has a very entrepreneurial mind and I was able to help him develop his business by bringing new technology and creative ideas. On the flip side, he taught me about the clinical aspects of the service. I have learned a lot about psychology and psychiatry in my twenty-eight years here. Since his focus was always on patient care, he counted on me to help grow the company,” she says.
And grow they have. After starting with a dozen or so clients, they now serve over a hundred families at varying levels of care. Though Linnett has moved out of the daily operation and into a consulting role assisting mainly with families in crisis situations, he knew Sampson was the right person to run the company. Pete has relocated to Mount Shasta in Northern California and stays in touch on a regular basis, visiting several times a year for events.
Previously located on Jefferson Boulevard in Playa Vista, The Life Adjustment Team recently moved April 1st to a beautiful office park in Marina del Rey.
Sampson says that for a person to get the best psychiatric treatment, the patient may need more than just a doctor and meds; almost every aspect of life has been challenged and may need attention from an experienced professional. The family also may need dedicated support. “Sometimes patients have anosognosia, they don’t have the insight to see what they need,” she says, “and we can help with that.”
LAT is a mobile outreach team that goes to patients’ homes and focuses on community reintegration. Visiting in the community helps to identify the stressors that could create a problem or might trigger a relapse. “We work with clients to understand how their medications work, and to ensure adherence. Stability is essential to an active, productive life.” The Team helps people with social skills and activities to get motivated and start recreating again. “A lot of times people on medications feel it’s difficult to get moving, it’s harder to exercise alone, so doing it together we can show people how important that is for their mental health,” Sampson says.
Sampson (and the Team’s) overall goal is to help those living with mental health challenges live a more stable, active, and productive life and avoid a prodromal episode or relapse and rehospitalization. She’s seen so many people’s lives change for the better, returning to school or work and seeing families get back together. “It’s exciting to see people thrive,” she says.
The Life Adjustment Team is located at 4551 Glencoe Ave. Suite 255, Marina del Rey, 90292. Call 310-572-7000 or visit lifeadjustmentteam.com for more info. .