April Middleton, LMHC:
I am writing today to express my sincere gratitude in the nomination for the position of President-Elect of the Massachusetts Mental Health Counselors Association. I speak to you as a provider of and consumer of mental health services.
Over the past decade, I have worked tirelessly in the fields of academia, community mental health, and private sector. I have dedicated countless hours to providing direct care including, but not limited to, therapy in home and community, clinical supervision at community nonprofit organizations, clinical supervision to students in post-secondary education, and teaching within a well-established university within the state of Massachusetts.
MaMHCA has provided a platform for me to further utilize my clinical skills and advocate on behalf of underserved populations. That is, to give them back their voice. Additionally, during my time with MaMHCA, I have utilized my background in mental health to provide opportunities for growth and education among emerging mental health professionals.
My passion for teaching extends beyond the classroom, as I facilitate continuing education courses on Domestic Violence to ensure that children and their families establish a routine of healthy relationships. I have truly enjoyed using my passion for education to support MaMHCA in its mission. A mission to provide care with cultural humility and awareness of social justice.
Moreover, MaMHCA has afforded me the opportunity to not only use my voice, but to embrace change amongst a nation of growing uncertainty. This organization is not only established to recognize professionals but to develop a positive atmosphere of change. With regards to said change, I was awarded by MaMHCA Licensed Mental Health Counselor of the Year (November 2018) for dedication and creative efforts in providing outpatient therapy, in-home therapy, and advocacy to underserved and bi-lingual populations. As a licensed mental health professional fully enmeshed within the community, I am able to utilize a grass roots approach to constructing a better tomorrow.
I am accepting this nomination, because I believe together, we can create a future with safe communities and adequate mental health care. I am a living breathing example of what a quality approach to opportunity and change looks like. I intend to use my platform for positive change and growth in a way that has not been seen in the past. I am grateful for every chance that was taken upon me. Lastly, I believe that we can truly foster resiliency through our joint efforts in advocating on the local and legislative level. If given this opportunity, I fully intend to use my skills in order to advance the efforts of MaMHCA to provide quality education, advocacy, and overall support to individuals and families.
Why I Would Embrace the Role of President-Elect for MaMHCA 2021-2023
Who am I? Tough question for someone on their 4th+ career to answer. I am a Caucasian, married, elder female. I am a daughter, wife, mom, grandmother. I am a friend. I am a storyteller, teacher, and artist. I am someone who navigates the world with not-so-obvious physical disabilities. I have been in my working life a teacher, office worker, business manager, a midwife, childbirth educator, shop owner, and therapist. I am an LMHC, MaMHCA certified Clinical Supervisor, and EMDRIA Certified EMDR clinician and consultant-in-training. I am a Registered Drama Therapist and Board-Certified Trainer. I have been a “rights” advocate since the mid-1960s, standing up and speaking out for Black, women’s, civil, anti-war, AIDS, and children’s rights. I advocate for religious tolerance and for spiritual acceptance.
Since 2006, I have been an active MaMHCA member. Early on, it was obvious this was an association unlike most to which I have belonged. The collaborative and supportive atmosphere permeating all MaMHCA offers to the LMHC community has prompted me to give more of my time over the years. It is this collaborative spirit I would like to build upon as your president-elect.
2020 and Covid-19 have changed our world, in many ways for the better. As your president-elect, my vision is to bring the professional development programs forward with a leading-edge focus. Where MaMHCA has always offered training on the most needed topics, I would like to see us become more innovative and collaborative in developing and presenting on more innovative topics in Mental Health Counseling, rather than following current trends.
In an environment where members have a voice in creating new tracks, we can expand our presenter base to be more inclusive and representative of our complex and diverse community. This will bring fresh ideas, new presenters, and invigorated energy to the solid educational base MaMHCA has always offered.
Advocacy for our profession is another area where I feel MaMHCA’s membership could be doing more. I would like this component of MaMHCA’s mission to be more fully representative of our membership. In the safe conversation space created by the newly reestablished Diversity, Equality & Inclusion Committee we all have a greater opportunity share leadership roles, voice our collective needs, rally for and with one another, and be the change we want to experience in our profession.
To recap, my priorities as president-elect, are:
Expand Professional Development to better meet members’ Continuing Ed needs.
Encourage and foster ALL members to have a stronger voice in what happens at MaMHCA.
While this is an ambitious set of goals, I believe now is the time for LMHCs in MA to step up, speak out, and be heard. If you elect me as your next MaMHCA president-elect, I will listen, encourage, support, and facilitate. I believe we can make this wonderful association even better as we step into the next 40 years!