Yolanda Morrissette spent several years on the streets of the Tenderloin District in San Francisco while battling addiction, facing domestic violence, and all of the challenges of homelessness. She shares her powerful story of struggle and triumph, along with some practical tips about how we can be better, compassionate people towards those who need our love and respect most.
Yolanda is now a counselor in the prison system and is working towards more certifications to continue to help her help others. She deeply cares about women battling addiction, domestic abuse, and homelessness, and continues to be a strong advocate for them.
On Episode 5, we hear from our very own Community Service Coordinator and Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Alice Taylor. Alice shares her own story of being in foster care and eventual adoption, which has led her to have a heart for serving others. She has served both in the military and now as a social worker. She also serves as a mentor and as if she didn’t do enough, is now working diligently on our community service quarter.
This year, we are introducing our Intern Program under the guidance of our Partnerships team. Alice shares about how this program will serve four women transitioning out of life’s hardships and how important it is for you to be involved in giving back to women who need a second chance.
On Episode 4, we chat with Eating Disorders Specialist, Dr. Kristina Wood about body image in today’s society and how our mental health is affected by the pressures we face as a result. Dr. Wood specializes in knowledge and support around eating disorders and provides us a range of information including signs and tips for navigating our view of self in a weight-obsessed world.
Dr. Wood has been working with eating disorders for about 10 years, and has been at Kaiser Permanente in Oakland for 7 years. She recently had a daughter and has gained a new understanding for the pressures that she will face as she grows.
In Episode 3, we talk with Monique Scott, M.S., clinical psychotherapist and mother to a son with Autism. Monique shares of her unique encounters with families who have faced the ups and downs of caring for children with disabilities. She also shares of how raising a son with Autism has impacted her own journey as a woman, wife, and working professional.
Monique is a pre-licensed psychotherapist working at a local mental health agency in Philadelphia and a local suburb. She is also a newly hired special instructor in the birth to three component of early intervention for children with developmental delays and disabilities. Monique is working to finish her doctorate degree in Marriage and Family Therapy.
“I love having the ability to connect with mothers of children with Autism and sharing experiences that helps assure them that they are not alone and we all go through similar experiences. I also enjoy working to empower mothers and helping their learn to advocate for their children and for themselves.”
Shanice Smith is a Licensed Clinical Social worker that is currently working at Roots Community Health Center as a therapist. She provides culturally appropriate mental health services to the East Oakland Community.
In this episode, Shanice discusses the overwhelming anxiety and stress that people of color, women of color, and Black women specifically experience on a regular basis due to violence enacted against them. She expresses the heightened fears she has for her safety and wellbeing that result from the horrific death of Oakland-based teen, Nia Wilson who was recently killed by a White supremacist. Shanice shares how these fears can manifest into anxiety and possible depression. She also provides concrete tools women of color can utilize to combat these challenges to protect and nourish their mental and emotional wellness.
For our first episode, Licensed Psychotherapist and Doctoral Candidate Akua Boateng shares her insight on listening to our voice within, or what she calls our unique form of strength. She discusses how trauma or other outside influences can impact trust in our gut instincts, and how we can best channel the wisdom gained from our life experiences.