Skip to Main Content

Meet Tanisha Wiggins, a Transition Specialist at ARISE in Syracuse. Tanisha developed mental illnesses when she was 15. Through counseling she was diagnosed with depression and anxiety. Over the next 14 years, she was in and out of hospitals. Tanisha decided to start taking medication in addition to her therapy to help manage the anxiety and depression.

“When I became pregnant with my first child I realized I wanted to do more with my life,” Tanisha said.

After applying, Tanisha was hired as the first bilingual peer at ARISE. She learned to connect with consumers through her interest in watching movies. She fondly remembered a nursing home resident suggesting a scary movie titled “Old People” because it reminded that person of living in a nursing home. The movie gave her a better understanding of that individual’s experiences of feeling trapped with no end in sight.

While working as a peer at ARISE, Tanisha earned her associate’s degree. ARISE then promoted her to Transition Specialist after working for them for about a year and a half. Now, she finds great enjoyment in helping an individual go through the housing program as they leave a facility and return to the community.

This mother of two young children likes to remind others to “take one day at a time and to remember that everything is temporary.” Tanisha is an example of how patience and persistence can help overcome obstacles to achieve their goals in life.