I promote humane mental health care, and changing the way we think about severe mental illness. My approach is collaborative and creative. Watch the video below for background on my experiences in the mental health field.
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For the past two decades, I've delivered and promoted compassionate and humane care to people who live with serious mental illness. From 1995-2012, I worked in the UNC Department of Psychiatry, first as director of outpatient services for the Schizophrenia Treatment and Evaluation Program (STEP), then as founder and co-director of the UNC Center for Excellence in Community Mental Health. In 2005, I helped create Outreach and Support Intervention Services (OASIS), an early intervention program for young persons in the initial phase of a psychotic disorder. OASIS, modeled after international programs in early psychosis, is an example of coordinated specialty care--youth-friendly, family-focused and team-based.
From 2012-2016, I was a clinical assistant professor at the UNC School of Social Work, and was project director for Critical Time Intervention: Local Pilot and Statewide Championing, a program initially funded by the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust. CTI is an intensive case management model originally developed for people with severe mental illness who experience homelessness, with the goal of securing successful transitions to being housed. The model has also been used to promote successful transitions from hospitals and other institutions to community living.
I have been a clinical educator for mental health professionals from a variety of disciplines for more than 20 years, and continue to teach and train at the state and national levels.
I graduated from Vassar College with a BA in English in 1984, and received my MSW from the UNC School of Social Work in 1993. I worked as a volunteer in a psychiatric hospital in England in 1984; and received some of my best training as a graduate student at Club Nova, a clubhouse model program in Carrboro.
I was the NASW North Carolina Social Worker of the Year for 2012.
My clinical license is under my legal name, Barbara B. Smith, LCSW (C002620).