I am a daughter, sister, mother, and spouse-- (specifically a military spouse), who is passionate about equity and helping people heal from a variety of traumas! In my journey to becoming a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker, I’ve grown to understand my history involving race, oppression, sexism, socio- economic challenges, and have faced many traumas.
I have come to know my value and have continued to revamp my mind sight, which has taken a concerted effort and support. This support helped me remain diligent and persevere. However, I am concerned about the many people who don't have the support or tools to manage their emotional health and life's circumstances. We all experience challenges and need help at one point or another. I’ve realized that my journey and my experience is a platform on which I REALLY want to help others, ( especially marginalized communities, women, and military personnel.)
I have ventured to use my skills in starting a private practice. This practice will provide tele-health therapeutic services. These services are imperative in helping to alleviate symptoms of individuals facing mental/trauma based challenges. Furthermore, studies are showing that tele-therapy is an effective and safe way for individuals to connect with a therapist, from the convenience of their home, though this does not apply to all individuals. This platform is especially useful during these times (health concerns/restrictions, increased mental health concerns, limited resources/daycare).
My private tele-therapy/online practice will provide services in the states of Massachusetts, Virginia and Georgia, as I am currently a licensed (Social Worker) in all three states due to my relocation- in being a proud military spouse.
Having a tele-therapy company will both grant me the opportunity to help people and work liberally despite where the military takes us. Our constitution is built on the values of freedom and equity, which are the values that my mission advocates for. My goal for individuals is emotional and psychological well being by developing strategies that change your mind and life.
Below are the concerning facts that have driven my vision for years:
Mental Health Concerns
“According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 in 13 Americans 12 years and older is depressed, and individuals living below the poverty level were nearly 2.5 times more likely to have depression than those at or above the poverty level. Of those with mild depressive symptoms, 45.7 percent reported difficulties in work, home and social activities, while 88 percent of those with severe depressive symptoms reported difficulties (CDC, 2014).”
A 2013 report conducted by the CDC found that millions of American children between ages 3 and 17 live with depression, anxiety, ADHD, autism spectrum disorders, Tourette syndrome or a host of other mental health issues (CDC, 2013).
Ethnic Minority Populations
Studies show that ethnic minority populations are just as much at risk for mental health conditions as their white counterparts, but receive substantially less treatment (NAMI, 2017). While trends have shown that overall rates of mental health treatment have increased, gaps in access to mental health treatment between African-Americans, Latinos, and non-Latino whites continue to persist (APA, 2017).
These ethnic minority populations cite difficulty accessing care and anticipation of low-quality care as reasons for not seeking the services they need.
Thousands of returning military personnel are struggling with mental and behavioral health conditions, the number of which is steadily increasing due to the ongoing conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. These problems include post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury (TBI), depression, substance use disorders and social withdrawal. A study by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration revealed that only 50 percent of returning vets will receive the mental health treatment that they need. Some of the barriers to veterans receiving the care they need include long wait times and demographic barriers (SAMHSA, 2017) — barriers which can be overcome by greater access to care and more psychologists trained to work with veterans.
Studies have shown that 18.7 percent of residents in nonmetropolitan counties — over 6.5 million people — had a diagnosable mental health disorder in 2016. While the prevalence of mental health disorders is similar between rural and urban residents, there is significantly less access to care in rural areas. Another reason for lack of accessibility, however, is the chronic shortage of mental health professionals, as these providers are more likely to practice in urban centers (RHIH, 2017).
1. Funds will be used for continued education, to increase my ability to provide specialized services such as (Racial Trauma Therapy; Women empowerment; Sexual Assault Therapy; PTSD counseling (with a focus on the military).
2. Funds will be used for marketing material, with the goal of establishing relationships and collaborations with community providers in Virginia, Massachusetts, and Georgia.
3. Funds will be used to assist in getting on as many insurance panels as possible, which can be a tedious and expensive process but will allow more patients access and help remove barriers.
4. Additionally, funds will also be geared towards providing clients with devices (if needed) to participate in tele-health. Many of us may take having the internet or a phone for granted, however this will address those who do not have these needed resources.
Everyone’s emotional and psychological well being, are just as important as their physical health and well being. The need for access to therapy is URGENT. I thank you for your recognition of this need and consideration in investing in my company and mission to help others heal and maximize their potential. You are making a difference by donating. Thank you.
Company website: resourcefulblossoming.com
- Lucy Dunson
- Lavar Matthews
- Lavar Matthews
- Annette K Mabry
Virginia Beach, VA