In 2014 Melinda Santa began working at the JCCA Edenwald Residential Treatment Program. The focus of treatment was utilizing a team approach in reuniting troubled teens that come from families that have been separated through child protective services. Her role was to provide support for the families, provide mental health services to the teens, and reunite the family along with preventive services in the community. The adolescents had wrapped around care with 24/7 staff, recreational programming, educational services, therapeutic services, family visitation, and independent living services. For the past two years, she has been working at United Community and Family Services providing individual, group, and family therapy to mainly the Latino population [bilingual services] to adults, children, and adolescents. Melinda has now been working with two online therapy platforms Talkspace and BetterHelp for the past year in order to help provide more access to therapy for people who are constantly on the go and/ or do not have the access or finances to come to a clinic.
Melinda Santa graduated from Mercy College in 2013 with a Bachelors in Social Work and a Minor in Psychology. In 2014, She obtained her Masters in Social Work from the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College. Melinda was on the clinical track with a concentration on individuals, children, and families. She obtained an LMSW in 2015 and my LCSW in 2017. She became a nationally certified Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapist in February 2018. Melinda has training in CBT, DBT, MATCH, TF-CBT, and social thinking evidence-based practices that utilize the treatment of her clients.
"My Philosophy on Mental Health & Wellness"
There is a lot of stigmas that come along with mental health, especially in our minority cultures. It is okay to ask for help you are not “crazy” and you are not alone. Sometimes we need to speak with someone who is not a member of our family or friends. We need guidance and we are human. That is alright. You will be alright. We all have thoughts and feelings that connect us with our behaviors. Sometimes, we need help in naming that emotion that is making us feel uncomfortable. Many have had adverse childhood traumatic experiences [ACES]; trauma does not define you and who you are as a person. You will work through the trauma and stop the generational trauma that occurs in our society. This makes you brave, courageous, and strong as a person. Continue to work through the stigma and you will be alright. If you are feeling overwhelmed, take deep breathes, be kind to yourself and others, acknowledge your support system, and practice self-care. It will go a long way!