Welcome to the Mary Ellen Strong Foundation (MESF). MESF was designed to preserve the memory and legacy of Dr. Mary Ellen Strong. She was a unique, talented, complicated and powerful force and it seemed appropriate to me that her impact on the world should continue beyond her mortal life.
Dr. Strong dedicated her life to serving the Black community and that dedication was the driving force behind all of her endeavors. With that spirit in mind, MESF is also devoted to strengthening the Black community. According to research, the lack of mental health treatment is a major issue directly related to the demise of Black communities. Historically, the Black community has been reluctant to seek help for depression, anxiety, trauma-related problems and other mental health issues. There is also a large gap in access to mental health services, especially in urban areas. These health disparities are well documented, but solutions have been limited.
The goal of MESF is to help bridge this gap. Research shows that clients have more success in mental health treatment if they feel connected to their provider. Studies also find that ethnic minorities, especially African Americans, prefer being treated by providers who are an ethnic match. In other words, having more Black mental health providers available will significantly work toward closing the gap and meeting the mental health service needs in the Black community.
Another obstacle to increasing access to mental health services in the Black community is a lack of education about mental health and the stigma related to those struggling with emotional and psychological problems. Providing education and demystifying the therapy process are ways to empower people to seek the help they need.
To help increase the number of mental health providers committed to working with African Americans, MESF provides scholarships to students pursuing their Master’s in Social Work. MESF also provides professional growth opportunities, support, guidance and mentorship to those interested in pursuing a career in mental health. In an effort to strengthen the community of providers committed to working with this underserved population, there is also a closed group forum (Provider’s Forum) designed as space for providers to share resources and provide support to one another.
To help increase access to education about mental health, this website provides resources and education about mental health treatment. You will find
articles, videos, mental health resources and a directory of Black psychotherapists. People are also encouraged to submit questions that will be answered by licensed mental health professionals.
We encourage any mental health professional interested in working with MESF to contact us.
We appreciate all donations to help us expand and continue our mission. All monetary contributions are tax exempt as the Mary Ellen Strong Foundation is a 501(c)(3), tax-exempt, non-profit foundation.
Thank you for visiting our website.
Wishing everybody a strong spirit, strong mind and strong community!
Stacey Jones, PhD, LP
Mary Ellen Strong Foundation Director