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Rising Stars: Meet Breanna Lambert

Today we’d like to introduce you to Breanna Lambert.

Hi Breanna, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstories with our readers?
I have lived in Utah for almost my entire life. It is where I call home. Though I love growing up here, it did not come without its challenges.

I was often the only Black child in my classes, friend groups, and on sports teams. It felt isolating a lot of the time, even when I was surrounded by friends.

As I grew up. I recognized some of the challenges I was facing were indicators of mental health concerns. I decided to learn as much as I could about mental health and how to prevent mental illness.

After graduating high school, I pursued my Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Utah Valley University, and then eventually my Master’s degree in Social Work. Being a social worker has opened my eyes to the possibilities there are here in Utah for community-engaged healing.

As I have worked in therapy offices, high schools, children’s justice centers, and advocacy, I have met so many amazing individuals who are all seeking to help break the stigma of mental health and heal our community members. If it were for the mentors I had met along the way to getting my degree, there would have been many times when I felt that the work I wanted to do couldn’t be done. Luckily we aren’t in this work alone.

As a Black clinician, my hope is to raise awareness of the lack of accessibility to mental health care for marginalized communities. I do this to help create solutions and to validate that getting help is difficult.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
It has not been a smooth road to get to this point. After being waitlisted for the Bachelor’s program and my Master’s program, I was constantly second-guessing if I was heading towards the right profession.

At times it felt like I needed to not only do my best but do better than everyone else in order to be seen as worthy of being in my program. It was a lot of pressure and I realized it wasn’t sustainable. I had to do a lot of work to believe that my best was enough and that I was where I needed to be.

I can’t lie, at times I still question if I know enough to be a therapist. Instead of letting this weigh me down like it used to, I let it motivate me to keep learning and to give myself grace.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I am currently an associate therapist at Mindful Counseling. I spend every day getting to my clients and helping them accomplish their identified mental health goals.

I specialize in working with clients who have experienced trauma, anxiety, depression, race-related trauma, relationship issues, body image issues, and life/faith transitions. I am known for the research I have done on the accessibility of mental health treatment for the Black community in Utah.

I am most proud of completing my Master’s degree. Being one of the few BIPOC therapists in Utah, I am hyper-aware of how marginalized communities are impacted by being the minority.

We’d love to hear what you think about risk-taking?
Taking risks is extremely scary. They always involve the unknown and you never know if it will pay off in the end.

I have taken major risks by asking to present my research to people who have years more experience than me. I have taken risks to talk about discrimination in my program to bring about change. I have taken risks to take care of my mental health and did not know if it was worth the time or effort it would take.

However, I have not regretted any of the risks I have taken that have had the potential to teach me something or to help me grow.

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