Early in the pandemic, behavioral health therapist Shari Gomez saw the needs of her community suffering. She dove deeper into her studies and an internship, determined to help.
Despite the COVID-19 lockdown and the challenges of caring for her two young children at home, Gomez is working hard on her studies and is poised to graduate from Chamberlain’s Master of Social Work (MSW) degree program this summer. Her husband is on active duty with the military and frequently away, making the pandemic quarantine even more challenging to try to study, parent and work. She’s eager to work on the front lines with families in at-risk communities.
“I’m really passionate about working for diverse populations and want to have a holistic, whole person approach to helping others,” says the New Jersey resident. Through an internship with Chamberlain, she is currently working as a psychotherapist providing individual therapy.
Her previous internship with Chamberlain was through the National Latino Behavioral Health Association, where she assisted with cultural competency training and training development. Her work has embodied Chamberlain’s mission to expand access to underrepresented communities and advance the critical cause of health equity for all.
“I’ve been working with marginalized groups and want to be in a position in my career to be able to provide counseling and social work services to these families full-time,” she said. “It is where my heart is.”
An Atlanta native, Gomez comes from a multicultural family. She is one of six siblings born in a low-income neighborhood and says she lived many of the challenges serving families she works with.
When she graduates, she plans to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, and in the future, open her own private practice that will provide holistic counseling with a focus on trauma-informed care.
“I want to offer accessible care for people who might not otherwise be able to afford it,” says Gomez.
In June, her husband is being transferred to a military base in San Diego, so she is looking forward to focusing her practice on diverse families in southern California.
“I want to bridge the gap in access to mental health services for marginalized communities,” says Gomez.
Chamberlain celebrates the contributions of social workers to community well-being, especially as the nation currently addresses the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, this Social Work Month.
Interested in learning more about how you can become an agent of social change?
By Mary Beth Sammons
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