Sept. 30, 2021

48: Mental Health in The Prison System, with Melissa Woolever

48: Mental Health in The Prison System, with Melissa Woolever

On this show we discuss mental health in the prison system and how the lack of available  mental health facilities and consistent care can impact recidivism and continued negative behavior.  We also cover how the juvenile justice system has long recognized some of the contributing factors to mental health treatment such as trauma,  addiction and ineffective  support networks. We also present how an often overburdened system struggles to help the most vulnerable members of our society.

About Melissa:
Melissa Woolever is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor.  She received her undergraduate degree with honors from Roosevelt University in Chicago.  She majored in Clinical Psychology and received a minor in Sociology.  Melissa went on to earn her Masters degree from the Illinois School of Professional Psychology in Chicago.  Her clinical training sites include The Safer Foundation and The Chicago Academy High School.

Melissa views each client as unique and customizes treatment to fit each client’s individual needs and goals.  Melissa enjoys incorporating humor and empathy into her practice and strives to create a comfortable and safe place for each of her clients.  Melissa has specialized experience treating teenagers and young adults dealing with depression, anxiety, self-esteem issues, self-injury, behavioral issues, and who have been involved with the Juvenile Justice system.  Melissa pulls from many different theories including: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), and Mindfulness to ensure comprehensive treatment for her clients and to create a treatment plan that fits the clients symptoms, strengths, and goals. 

Melissa also utilizes groups as a means of working on self-esteem, interpersonal relationships, and emotion regulation to help individuals live a fuller and more balanced life. Melissa’s clinical interest include: self-esteem, developing/improving coping skills, reducing feelings of depression and anxiety, challenging dysfunctional thinking patterns, minimizing impulsivity, adult and adolescent life transitions, and LGBTQ issues.

 Finding the strength and courage to make lasting change can be challenging.  Knowing this, Melissa works with each client to help him/her learn more about him/herself and to build the rapport needed to help each client navigate through this process.