Mental Health America of Arizona held its 28th Annual SEEDS Conference today, April 27, 2023, to kick off National Mental Health Awareness Month. The Beyond the Basics – Community Connections for Managing Mental Health conference provided a platform for a bevy of mental health experts to share critical insights on the state of mental health in communities across the nation and offered comprehensive solutions to address mental health issues on a number of fronts.
MHAA’s goal is to provide parents, caregivers, professionals, young adults, and community leaders with strategies to navigate the behavioral health system, highlighting the importance of mental health screenings for early identification and intervention, as well as providing community connections and resources to assist in managing mental health.
Featured speaker and mental health expert Dr. Christina Abby spoke about the importance of developing successful partnerships to integrate technology with traditional strategies for optimal results and sustainable initiatives in the field.
Dr. Abby attended Alcorn State University where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in psychology. Af ter
working in community mental health for over five years, she aspired to reach even greater heights and continue her educational journey. Combining her knowledge of human behavior, work experience, and drive to empower others, she obtained a Master’s in Social Work from Jackson State University and ultimately her Doctorate in Social Work with an emphasis in management and innovation from the University of Southern California.
With over 14 years of social service experience, Dr. Abby has worked with patients of all ages from preschool-aged children to the geriatric population. Uniquely amongst her cohort, she also worked with unaccompanied refugee minors from Africa, Central America, and Asia.
Before entering the world of behavioral health integration, she leveraged her social work expertise in the medical field in both hospital and dialysis settings. Now as Clinical Programs Manager at evolvedMD, the leader in behavioral health integration in modern primary care, Dr. Abby develops clinical and educational curricula, facilitates program implementations, leads research initiatives, and manages grants.
Among Dr. Abby’s proudest accomplishments during her tenure is launching evolvedMD’s first company-wide diversity, equity, and inclusion initiative. Dr. Abby is a strong advocate for increasing access to high-quality behavioral health services for marginalized communities, and you can read her latest writings on the subject entitled “How Behavioral Health Integrat ion Improves Access to Mental Health for Underserved Communities” in the Featured section below.
Outside of her day-to-day, Dr. Abby has presented research at the Southwestern Psychological Association Annual Conference on the perceptions of acceptable body types as well as at a National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education site regarding students’ levels of test anxiety on mathematical subjects.
In 2019, Dr. Abby took her advocacy efforts to Capitol Hill to discuss the importance of financial literacy for children in low-income communities with legislators. She is most proud of being able to meld her educational background and professional experiences to provide services to patients and families in a diverse range of settings.
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