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Mental Illness affects everyone across all domains. It doesn’t matter what your cultural background is, or your socio-economic background. It’s really an equal-opportunity illness that affects everyone. -Gemima St. Louis, Ph.D.
A recent survey shows that 90% of Americans believe our country is experiencing a mental health crisis. Fortunately, Gemima St. Louis is leading the way toward solving this problem by creating groundbreaking programs that will train a diverse generation of mental health professionals at William James College in Newton, Massachusetts. www.williamjamescollege.edu. Born and raised in Port au Prince Haiti, Gemima and her family immigrated to the United States, landing in Boston on a cold day in January without winter clothing! At only 14, Gemima did not speak the language and found herself in a high school classroom surrounded by teenagers from other countries who were also learning how to speak the language and understand American culture. Her parents raised 5 children with a sense of social responsibility, Gemima was told that she could become anything she set her mind to and that education would be the key to success. All she had to do was remember where she came from and “reach back to bring those you left behind along with you. Armed with a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, Gemima is now the mother of three children and the Vice President of Workforce Initiatives & Speciality Training, and an Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology. Determined to be a change-maker when it comes to disparities in access to mental healthcare, Gemima says: You really have to rely on your networks of support to move systemic barriers. One person can try and it is exhausting, but when you are surrounded by others with a shared passion, you can move mountains. “ #mentalhealth #stigma