How My Dad Inspired My Career in Mental Health

A look behind the minds hard at work for Vecktr Group.

Bob Dad-resized

Bob Connolly, Sr.


My inspiration to take on a career in mental health is all about my Dad. He is my hero, an example of someone who worked hard doing what he loved while supporting his family.

We were both sports fans and, in a lot of ways, good buddies. Dad liked numbers so being a high school math teacher was a natural fit. He loved it. His students respected, appreciated, and admired him.

When he retired in 2005 after 50 years of teaching, I looked forward to spending more time with him and he anticipated enjoying his retirement. He certainly had earned it. I started to plan all the fun things he would now have time for.

That all turned into a pipe dream, something that never came to fruition. We used to joke about our “OCD Dad” who was meticulous about classroom preparation, lecturing, and keeping his entire life organized and structured. Those skills were effective in the classroom, but they were not as helpful in retirement. Without the structure that he once relied on, the OCD began to overwhelm him. He tried medication, individual counseling, group therapy – nothing worked. His symptoms intensified. He was miserable most of his waking hours and he stopped taking care of himself. He stayed at home and obsessed about if he was a good person (it was clear to me he was) and why this was happening to him. Why wasn’t he able to get better? My hero for the first time in his life felt like he was failing. It was beyond sad.

Dad continued to isolate, and the mental toll added to his physical decline. Death came as a relief to him. When he knew he wasn’t going to live long, he felt relieved because the OCD would be over.

I didn’t want others to go through this, so I became a psychologist. Oh how I wish I knew then what I know now. Back in 2010 when he passed away, I did not understand, and could not recognize, the limitations of the system. There is so much I would now seek out for my buddy and best friend. A dynamic treatment plan, including psychedelic intervention, would have been worth trying.

My dad’s life was more than his last days: he was a great guy who cared about his family and his students. That’s his legacy, and I approach my life with the same mentality. I refused to lose hope in him, regardless of the situation. I promised myself I would be someone who would approach mental health intelligently, creatively, and with compassion. Every day I try to live up to his standard, which is a joy and privilege to strive for.

Ready to move forward?

At Vecktr Group, we believe in moving forward with intention with you. Our goal is to give you a real reason for hope, and help create a future you and your loved one can look forward to.