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Meet Leticia Reed of Reed Behavioral Solutions in Manhattan Beach and South Central LA

Today we’d like to introduce you to Leticia Reed.

Leticia, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
A product of a teenage mother and father in South Central Los Angeles, I could have easily become another statistic. I am a first-generation college student, so there wasn’t a blueprint for me to follow. My blueprint was gradually built along the way through my faith in JESUS CHRIST and my “village” of supporters serving as compasses throughout my entire educational, professional career and life pursuits.

I attended the San Diego State University where I received a BA in Psychology and a Minor in Child Development. I also attended the University of Southern California, receiving a Masters Social Work and eventually obtained licensure as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in California and later in the state of Nevada. I’ve wanted to address the stigma of mental health in the African American community long before it became a trendy slogan, catchy hashtag and popular talk show topic.

I am an author of several books, 3 of which are children’s books/coloring books, (Beautifully Brown and Wonderfully Made, I Can Be Anything and Releasing the Butterflies from My Tummy available on Amazon, Barnes and Nobles and Kobo Books), promoting self-esteem by addressing colorism issues, and confidence of African American boys and girls. I’ve been featured in numerous articles, participated in professional panels internationally, as well as participated in various radio broadcasts. In my spare time, I host a podcast show, Leticia’s Virtual Couch (on the Anchor App and other streaming platforms) as well as provide book and business coaching for aspiring authors and mental health professionals seeking entrepreneurial opportunities and advancement. Most recently, I conducted a series of mental wellness workshops for a mentorship program for high school girls and for The County of Los Angeles foster care providers’ certification requirements in conjunction with LA Trade Technical Community College. It is amazing that I am able be paid for doing what is intrinsically rewarding for me.

 

I’ve always been passionate about helping others and erasing the stigma of mental health in the African-American community. One languishing and succumbing to effects of mental illness and the lack of access to quality mental health support is one too many. I strive daily to provide culturally competent and quality mental health services to bridge the gaps and disproportionate rate in mental services plaguing African-American communities throughout the country. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) myths concerning persons of African descent being genetically protected and immune, for example can be attributed to the deep-rooted history of distrust of the medical system which have resulted in the spread of erroneous information and deaths.

From history, this distrust and fear held towards medical institutions are warranted. Sadly, we are once again witnessing history repeat itself with blacks dying at disproportionately higher rates than other groups. This again can be attributed to a continual fear and distrust disguised under a cloud of denial of the magnitude of the virus, therefore not taking proper precautions and disseminating unscientific information. I feel it is my duty as a member of the black community to rebuild and regain trust of the community by address these systematic prejudices through quality, accurate evidenced/research based, consistent, compassionate and empathetic care to save lives.

I, the “Rose that grew from the concrete”, never wanted to be limited to the confines of my community or become regarded as just another “Black Girl from the hood”, without any purpose or hope. I was determined to not become another nameless statistic among a sea of others who share my skin tone. I never allowed societal barriers to imprison and hinder my progression and advancement. I have always strived to become a beacon of hope for residents of South-Central Los Angeles and other urban communities across the nation.

I enjoy empowering, edifying and strengthening disenfranchised communities, specifically the African American community. It is my mission to eradicate the stigma of mental health and transform disproportionate statistics/rates into statistics/rates that depict us growing, thriving and excelling. I want my personal journey to show other African Americans of South Central Los Angeles and other marginalized communities around the world that they too can make it.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
My philosophy has always been: “Anything worth having is never easy”. My journey has been filled with its ups and downs and highs and lows. Being in a field (Mental Health) with not too many who resemble the reflection I see in the mirror, can be lonely if I were to view it through pessimistic lenses. However, being the optimist that I am, I view it as yet another challenge/hurdle to surpass and build my courage, muscle and stamina.

Changing negative mindsets regarding mental health in the Black Community has also been challenging, but seeing one person break free from their mental and emotional chains that had them paralyzed for years, is well worth any challenge I’ve encountered. I was truly built for this. I am my ancestors’ dreams and I intend to make all of their dreams come true because I have a lot more to do.

Reed Behavioral Solutions – what should we know? What do you do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
I created Reed Behavioral Solutions in 2012 which began as a brick and mortar private practice, eventually venturing into a plethora of other avenues within the field of mental health spanning over 14 years. I have worked in various settings: child welfare, inpatient and outpatient clinical services, juvenile justice, adult rehabilitation and corrections, military (locally and internationally as a civilian contractor employee) and as a university adjunct professor. Over the years, I have enjoyed serving as a clinical supervisor, providing clinical training and oversight to some of the most intelligent, compassionate and invested mental health professionals entering the field.

It has been said that my drive, integrity, faith, compassion, personable and relatable persona, sets me apart from others. When we are called and anointed to do something, regardless of how many attempt to copy and emulate it, they will never be able to. No one can duplicate my “sauce”. My flavor is undeniably unique.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
Due to the confidentiality laws within the field of mental health, “proud moments” aren’t highlighted and broadcasted often. Everyday, I am afforded the opportunity to help others, are proud moments for me.

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