MHA Counseling Center: Empowering Clinicians & Creating Safe Spaces

Meet MHA Counseling Center Intern Tori Pritchett

My name is Tori Pritchett and I’m from a small town in North Carolina called Cameron. I recently obtained my Master of Social Work degree from Johnson C. Smith University. I have had the pleasure of providing counseling as a clinical intern at Mental Health America of Central Carolinas during the 2023-2024 school year and throughout this summer.

What motivated you to pursue an MSW?
During the pandemic, I was motivated by Ms. Cynthia Ambrose to pursue my Master of Social Work. I was honored to watch her take on the challenges and responsibilities of being a Pregnancy Care Coordinator for Public Health. Although we were faced with the unknown she was still there for her clients. While shadowing her, I realized that I love helping others become the best version of themselves. I truly cherish creating the change people want to see and meeting the needs of the community; and that is the role of a true Social Worker.

What inspired you to join MHA as a Counseling Center intern? I was inspired to join MHA as a Counseling Center intern because I wanted the opportunity to provide direct clinical services to those in the Mecklenburg County area. At the time I understood that MHA was a well-established agency and has been around for years. I researched their programs and what they provided for the community. I wanted to be a part of a new beginning, and with the MHA Counseling Center being less than a year old when I started, I knew this was the place to start my new journey.

Share how your internship with MHA benefitted you the most. What benefits me the most at MHA is being able to build and establish safe spaces for my clients to share their vulnerabilities. My mission was to bring about change and awareness to the stigmas around mental health, while creating a stress-free, safe, comfortable space for my clients.

What’s next for you?
I will be furthering my career as a therapist at Center for Emotional Health here in Charlotte.

What do you believe is the biggest mental health challenge in our society at this time? The biggest mental health challenge in our society is the pervasive stigma that surrounds mental health. Overcoming this stigma remains a significant hurdle, as many individuals are still reluctant to seek help due to the fear of being judged or discriminated against. That is why it’s incredibly important for the new generations to build that safe space for youth and older adults to understand their emotional well-being and prioritize their mental health.

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