Sr Ruth has spent many years working as a nurse in areas from midwifery through to aged care. Presently she works in the Child and Family Health area at CatholicCare in Campbelltown which is situated in the south west region of Sydney. Part of the mission of CatholicCare is to bring hope, justice and professional care to those on the margins. This fits very well with the mission of Marist Sisters. Ruth believes that as a Marist Sister what she does at work and the support she gives in her local area is very much doing the work of Mary.
In her daily work she meets families who, for various reasons, are having difficulties in caring for or relating to their children and in building a safe and happy family life. A number of the parents she works with have a mental illness, are struggling with drug and alcohol issues, have an intellectual disability, are dealing with the grief of having their children in foster care and the process of regaining custody, are separated or just find coping with the pressures of family life and caring for their children difficult.
Her work includes running in-service days on managing challenging behaviours and discipline strategies for foster carers and early childhood staff. As a Certified Instructor she teach Mental Health First Aid to professionals from government and non government organisations and to high school teachers in the area. Mental Health First Aid teaches a person to identify emerging mental health problems, informs them of available resources and suggests strategies for dealing with a mental health crisis.
As a Marist Sister, she lives in a community with two other sisters. The community tries to support families in the public housing estates in their local area, many of whom have mental health problems. These people are often isolated and alone and so the sisters offer a listening ear and refer them to other avenues of support where necessary.