Allies of Mental Health 2021
AY About You is proud to present its 2021 Allies of Mental Health, a special section to provide resources and further the discussion around this important subject.
Each of these talented individuals and esteemed organizations has left a lasting imprint on Arkansas, and we are grateful for their selfless service.
Megan Miller, LCSW, began working in the mental health field in 2003, but she’s been an ally for much longer than that.
“My mother was a great influence on my compassionate view,” Miller says. “She worked with the juvenile justice system and saw the impact of mental health on the youth she interacted with. She was a strong treatment advocate and ally. She made sure that I understood how important it was to listen to others’ needs and to speak up for those whose voice was quiet.”
Miller is clinically trained as a social worker and spent the first few years of her career providing mental health services to individuals and families. She feels that this “micro approach” to mental health formed a pathway for her to move into leadership positions, such as with her current role.
“As the CEO at The BridgeWay, I use my social work knowledge and skills to promote social change and social justice both within the organization with the people we serve and outside our organization, as we partner with others to make mental health care accessible to all Arkansans,” she says.
Two decades in, Miller is heartened that the conversations surrounding mental health have become more useful, and some of the stigmas have slowly — but surely — been whittled down, especially amid the ongoing pandemic.
“I believe people are taking a second look at mental health,” Miller says. “While I can attest that we are really fighting a dual pandemic, the conversations are different. People are receptive to opening a new discussion about mental health symptoms, they are more compassionate toward solutions that meet the needs of those using mental health supports and the stigma feels lessened.”
READ MORE: Arkansas Mental Health Guide