Enhancing access to mental health services
Enhancing access to mental health services
Access to mental health services is restricted by a variety of circumstances. Perhaps the most critical barrier to access is cost – too many people suffering from a mental health condition simply cannot afford the services of a qualified medical provider, and public assistance is often limited in supply and restricted to select individuals.
Another barrier to access is the stigma too often associated with mental health concerns. The same stigma is not associated with primary care (physical) health. While society has made considerable strides in recent years in reducing the stigma, too many people still seek to hide their mental health condition.
Others are restrained from seeking help due to cultural biases, lack of family/friend support, the need to prioritize the care of dependents, and a variety of other circumstances.
But an often under-recognized barrier to access is the lack of understanding that mental health treatment most often works! The very nature of a mental illness often tends to obscure the reality that therapy offered by a qualified provider, often supplemented by pharmaceutical support, most often reduces or eliminates the pain suffered by so many.
Our vision is to lift these barriers so that those of us who suffer from a mental health condition will feel hopeful, seek the help they need, experience happiness, and enhance their lives.
More of us suffer from a mental health condition than almost any other medical condition, yet so few of us seek the life-enhancing and sometimes life-saving services that are available. Why is that? The list is long, topped by lingering stigma, financial concerns, cultural biases, and a lack of expectation that treatment so often can make an impactful and positive difference in one’s life. Mental illness is often accompanied by a lack of hope, which itself can contribute to inaction. I founded Access Hope to bring access to the treatments that are enhancing the lives of some, to the lives of many more.
Certified Public Accountant and Registered Investment Advisor
BS, Accounting, Pennsylvania State University
Finance and Accounting
As a lifelong educator and counselor, I have witnessed firsthand how the lack of access to needed mental health services can impact one’s life. With over 30 years of experience working in diverse settings, including substance abuse rehabilitation, community college education, suicide prevention, and disaster relief, I have seen the real faces of those whose suffering could be eliminated by getting the help they need.
I am committed to working with those who provide direct services to underserved populations in alleviating the barriers to a mentally healthy life.
Ph.D. Counselor Education Virginia TechMA Generic Counseling George Washington UniversityBA Community Development Penn State
I am a transformational leader with a demonstrated history of creating opportunities for individuals and communities to thrive. I identify disparities and remove barriers to health and wellbeing, bringing people together to close generational poverty and inequities, while relying on evidence-based, data-driven strategies to help those who are most vulnerable. As a professor of psychology at Northern Virginia Community College and the former director of the Braden Center for Women, Gender and Social Equity, I understand the power of the community college to open paths to thriving. I have extensive experience working within systems, to help individuals, families and organizations thrive. I have a passion for promoting positive development through my work in designing, implementing, evaluating, and disseminating programs that promote mental health and well-being. I am an internationally recognized speaker, writer, and researcher. I've published widely on the promotion of positive youth development. My most recent publication, "Actualizing Change with Roma Youth and their Communities: Theoretical and Conceptual Considerations (2021)," reflects my belief that teens and emerging adults are not problems to be dealt with, but positive agents of change in their own lives and in their communities. I own a private practice in Greenbelt, Maryland where I work with individuals and families to help them achieve their mental health goals.
Ph.D. Psychology, Florida International University
Program development and evaluation Systems change and community participatory research Speaker and educator