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Recognizing Mental Health Professionals of Color During POC Mental Health Awareness Month

On July 1st, Governor Gretchen Whitmer proclaimed July as People of Color Mental Health Awareness Month in Michigan:

WHEREAS, stigmas and implicit biases surrounding mental health in the African American community and other communities of color affect the health and well-being of people of color in our state; and,

WHEREAS, health care professionals remain concerned about racial and cultural disparities that are still evident in the mental health treatment system in our nation, impacting life outcomes across the life span; and,

WHEREAS, the mental health care workers recruited to serve the African American community and other people of color communities should reflect the population served; and,

WHEREAS, professional counselors encourage organizations and localities to eliminate barriers for professional counseling services for people of color in schools, colleges, mental health agencies, community agencies, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, private practice, and other delivery settings; and,

WHEREAS, an improved understanding of multicultural counseling and mental health for people of color will be beneficial to all; and,

WHEREAS, in 2020, I established a Task Force on Racial Disparities to tackle racial injustice in health care, including removing barriers to accessing mental health care; and,

WHEREAS, it is important to raise consciousness of the issues people of color face and build a stronger and more resilient community for all;

Population at Risk

Children of color are at a greater risk of experiencing mental health issues from abuse and neglect. While 31% of children in Michigan are children of color, they make up 51% of the foster care population.

Hispanic or Latino: 8%

Non-Hispanic American Indian: <.5%

Non-Hispanic Asian/Non-Hispanic Native Hawaiian: <.5%

Non-Hispanic Black: 29%

Non-Hispanic multiple race groups:13%

Mental Health Professionals of Color

We recognize our mental health professionals and advocates that reflect the community we serve. Our team at TNFC provides valuable support for youth with lived experience in foster care as they transition to adulthood.


Director of Clinical Services

Stacey has Master of Arts in Community Counseling from University of North Carolina at Charlotte and a bachelor's degree in Psychology from Central Michigan University. Her professional career includes work with at risk youth

and their families which includes, fostering the reunification of families in Child Welfare, enhancing personal growth through providing coping skills to manage and maintain daily life functioning. She has promoted individual growth and achievement of youth through enhancing self-esteem, reducing anxiety and depression, school and life stressors. Stacey has experience in program development, quality assurance, training and performance improvement, conflict resolution, mental/ behavioral health counseling and clinical supervision.

Additionally, Stacey has provided individual, family, and couples therapy utilizing person-centered therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy in private practice for several years.



Peer Support Specialist

Gabriella Mallory has been an Advocate and Ambassador with The New Foster Care for several years. Her Professional aspiration is to graduate from Wayne State University School of Social Work with a Master’s Degree in Social Work, and a concentration on Policy and Legislation. Gabriella has skills in mentoring, advocacy, and public speaking from both personal and professional experiences.

Gabriella also is a board member with the Michigan Board of Education Policy Action Network.

Gabriella describes her current role with The New Foster Care as rewarding; this work allows her to provide assistance and support to young adults while establishing connections with Bridge Participants.


Transition Navigator

Keeli has a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from Ferris State University. Her professional career has included work with children, families, and at-risk populations.

She has worked assisting teenagers and young adults to learn the importance of setting a grounded foundation for their future regardless of their past or current situation. Sometimes the future can mean a year from now or goal setting for the next week. She has spent over 15 years in child welfare working in both the foster care and delinquency systems in Wayne County. Ms. Lackey is often found sharing wisdom during speaking engagements and volunteering in the community.


Transition Navigator

Terrance obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from Saginaw Valley State University. His professional career has consisted of working with multiple at-risk populations in foster care and adoption, adult mental health and juvenile rehabilitation. He has worked assisting both adults and youth through various growth and development programs emphasizing an outreach of support, leadership, advocacy and education seeking to serve as a pillar of encouragement for those looking to set and accomplish their goals. He has spent twelve years working in Mental Health and Foster Care all throughout Michigan.

Terrance feels this field of work is beneficial due to having the opportunity to have a direct impact on the progressions and successes of those he is fortunate enough to work with. Terrance hopes to coordinate a social life skills mentorship for adults in at-risk groups and communities.


Transition Navigator

Christian has a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Eastern Michigan University. Her professional career has included working with at risk teenagers and young adults. She has spent over 6 years in child welfare assisting these young adults with enhancing their independent living skills to ultimately be self-sufficient once they have aged out of the system.

She says the most rewarding part of working in this field is witnessing the individuals' personal growth from the beginning to the end of being in the program, as well as when they finally see how great they truly are for themselves.


Youth with experience in foster care often face a challenging path to success as they transition to adulthood. We are proud of the wonderful team at TNFC that makes a measurable and meaningful impact in the lives of those with lived experience in foster care.


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