Western State Hospital social worker motivates patients in recovery

Western State Hospital social worker Lor Yates.
Western State Hospital social worker Lor Yates.

She’s an author, a thespian, a powerlifting champion and a take-charge recipient of mental health services who kick-started her recovery by famously self-discharging from a psychiatric facility in Texas. But in addition to those accomplishments, we are very grateful to have had Lor Yates as a social worker at Western State Hospital for the past 15 years. Lor (also known as Lori) has worked on the civil and forensic sides of the hospital and currently works on Ward C8.

Lor is highly skilled and persistent in motivating patients to transition back to community living. Her unwavering commitment to patient care and recovery is inspired by her own journey of recovery. After leaving the mental health facility in Texas, Lor enrolled in college with the support from a local church. She earned her master’s degree in social work at the University of Texas at Arlington. Lor also attended Kansas State University for her specialty in drama therapy. She introduced the hospital’s not-guilty-by-reason-of-insanity patients to stage performing with the well-known Lavender Sox drama performance group at the Center for Forensic Services.

To share her successful recovery journey, Lor wrote a book about her experiences titled “Beyond,” which was published in 1996. The book is now in its third printing. Lor returned to the Texas psychiatric facility to reenact certain scenes with staff and those scenes are featured in the book. To top off all her successes, Lor is a powerlifting champion. She took a first and third place in an international powerlifting competition in 2016. In case you’re wondering; bench 192, squat 365, and deadlift 427!

Lor received the Anytime Fitness National Member Success Story award in 2010 and was the 2003 recipient of the prestigious Marvin Chapman, MD Memorial Award by the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors Forensic Division Membership.

Western is honored to have Lor on our social work team. Thank you Lor and thanks to all of our social workers who tirelessly work to help our patients recover and return to their local communities.

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