by Nan Thomas

Clinician Charnette Merritt of Meridian Behavior Healthcare has joined the MYcroSchool Gainesville team.

Ms. Merritt is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who graduated from Florida State University. As a Meridian clinician with four years of experience in the field of mental health, Ms. Merritt offers students Individual Counseling once weekly during either the morning or afternoon session.

Student referrals for counseling services are made by staff members, but any interested student is welcome to meet with Ms. Merritt to determine if there is a need that can be met.

Ms. Merritt’s goals are to “provide support and encouragement to all students and assist the students in recognizing their own strength and skills.” She says that knowledge will “empower them to have enough confidence to utilize those skills when trying to overcome life’s obstacles/barriers.” Ms. Merritt’s told me her greatest challenge is “dealing with all the external factors that influence a person.”

Ms. Merritt said that her favorite aspect of the job is when clients are able to provide examples of how they used the learned skills in their own lives, and when each is able to recognize how those small changes in attitude, behavior and/or surroundings has placed him/her on the path to success. Continued practice of those skills brings about confidence, which in turn creates positive, lasting change for the better.

As with any student population, many of our students come to us with problems that begin in the home. When parental neglect, abuse, drug/alcohol addiction, sickness, death and other negative factors touch the lives of teens and young adults, the effects can be paramount. The addition of a Meridian clinician will help address and counteract these issues for our students in a positive way.

Due to the newly formed partnership between Meridian Behavioral Healthcare and MYcroSchool, students, parents, staff, and society benefit.