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Team Member Spotlight: Ilana Ander

Ilana Ander

Each month we spotlight a different member of our wonderful, all-volunteer team. Get to know the people dedicating their time to increasing access to care at Therapy4thePeople.

This spotlight first appeared in the July 2022 edition of our monthly newsletter.

What is your current role at Therapy4thePeople?

I am a Regional Ambassador for New York City. I’ve been focused on finding and creating listings for mental health services that meet our criteria, communicating with providers to learn more about their needs and experiences, and conducting quality assurance checks. I am especially excited about our efforts to engage community members. I believe their lived experiences, especially during the pandemic, can inform our decision making processes. As a new New Yorker and future mental healthcare provider, this work has connected me with the city I call home.

What’s something special about your region that other people may not know?

New York has incredible public mental health services! Many of them are overseen at the NYC Mayor’s Office of Community Mental Health. They have over a dozen unique programs. Some include NYCWell, another resource directory and 24 hour call line, mobile Crisis Teams, and outreach for veterans. Some of started from the Community Mental Health Incubator which supports new ideas on how to support the 1.8 million New Yorkers living with mental illness. Our goal at Therapy4thePeople is to help connect people with those resources, in addition to the hundreds of others available in New York.

What motivated you to join Therapy4thePeople?

Through my work in a range of service settings including a safety net hospital and clinical research program, I’ve gotten to speak with help-seekers. All shared similar stories about overcoming mental health related stigma and misinformation and searching for affordable care. Their experiences made me think more about effectively communicating information about mental health to those outside the psychological community and connecting seekers to mental health services that are both financially accessible and culturally sensitive. Therapy4thePeople is a perfect fit. I am excited to be a part of the organization as it continues to grow and believe in its vision and long term impact.

Where are you currently in your career, and where do you hope to go?

I am a second year PhD student in the Counseling Psychology doctoral program at Fordham University Lincoln Center in New York City. In addition to coursework focused on social justice and multiculturalism, my training includes practicum placements throughout New York. Over the next few years, I hope to work in a diverse range of populations and settings such as college counseling centers and hospitals. My personal line of research is focused on empowerment and strengths-based approaches to trauma treatment and the role of social support in care. I look forward to applying lessons from my research and Therapy4thePeople to my clinical work during and after my program.

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