Dr. Irma Carmichael is a psychologist with a private practice in Columbus, OH. Dr. Carmichael has over 20 years of experience in the field, with an emphasis on cognitive behavioral intervention techniques.She obtained her Ph.D. in Counselor Education from The Ohio State University in 1990.In addition to being a practicing psychologist, she is also a certified chemical dependency counselor (LICDC) and has worked many years as a certified rehabilitation counselor with persons experiencing physical, developmental and/or mental health disabilities with the purpose of developing and enhancing their personal, social and vocational skills.
Presently, Dr. Carmichael has focused most of her practice on working with persons experiencing depression and anxiety; assisting couples in building stronger relationships; and survivors of childhood sexual violation.In addition to her passion about her life’s work, Dr. Carmichael is also passionate about her work with the Children’s Defense Fund’s Freedom School, volunteering on the United Methodist Church’s Home Board and being an active member of the ADAMH Board.
Mental Health Advocate
Speaking on Lived Experience
Laurita Barber is a veteran of the Ohio Army National Guard where she served in Youngstown, Ohio as a Military Police Officer from 1982-1988. She has an extensive career in supporting veterans, and was on a Veterans Council that advocated for better services for fellow Veterans. Because of her extensive volunteering at the Columbus Veterans Administration, they paid for her certification to become an Ohio Certified Peer Support Specialist. This certification allowed her the platform to assist even more veterans by starting a mental health support group for female veterans.
Ms. Barber relocated to Columbus Ohio in 1986. In 2002 she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Franklin University.
In 2012, she was introduced to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) of Franklin County when she took Peer-to-Peer, which is a NAMI Signature educational course for persons living with mental health conditions. In 2014, she became a Peer-to-Peer instructor and a year later became a state trainer.
In 2015, Ms. Barber became a facilitator for the NAMI Connection Recovery Support Group which is a support group for individuals living with mental health conditions. She facilitates this group at her church every Monday evening. She also became a certified Mental Health First Aid Instructor in 2015.
Ms. Barber became the Office Manager and Accountant for NAMI Franklin County in July 2016. She also became the Ending the Silence presenter/trainer and coordinator for Franklin County in the same year, and then became a state trainer for the program in 2017. She teaches the ETS program in public, Catholic, private and charter schools throughout Franklin County; as well as in recreation centers, churches, and other public arenas. In February 2017, she co-taught Peer-to-Peer in the Marysville Ohio Reformatory for Women, providing self-awareness and coping strategies. She also became a Family-to-Family teacher, and a NAMI Homefront teacher in 2017.
Survivor Jowanda Cockrum was born in Brooklyn, New York and was raised between New York and South Carolina. She has both a northern and a southern flare about her. She is very family oriented which stems from her family heritage rooted with a foundation in Jesus Christ. God’s Word is what she longs and thirsts for as in Psalm 63:1.
Jowanda is an honors graduate of Virginia State University and The Ohio State University graduating with Bachelor & Masters degrees in Social Work. While attending both colleges Jowanda was active within her field of study, but also her love for gospel music. Jowanda also pledged Delta Sigma Theta sorority her sophomore year while at Virginia State University.
Jowanda has worked as a licensed professional Social Worker for 25.
On January 21, 2018, Jowanda experienced her final emotional and physical abuse from her husband of twenty-eight years who she also served in ministry with for seventeen years as First Lady Thomas. Together they parented three amazing children Joshua, Kristin, and Jonathan. Jowanda’s most recent life change has birthed Awakening Outreach that focuses on victims of domestic violence and breast cancer survivors.
November 2004 Jowanda was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer, FIVE MONTHS after a NORMAL mammogram. Jowanda detected the lump through her monthly self breast exam. With prayer, faith, family and friend support, Jowanda made it through. Since these life-changing experiences, for thirteen years she headed the breast cancer called Purple & Pink. Purple & Pink has been featured in several newspapers and magazine articles, Trinity Broadcasting Network, local radio, and commercials, collaborated with all three major hospitals for outreaches and was honored with a Making a Difference Community Award in 2011 by Tried Baptist Church.
In April of 2012, Jowanda has become a published author of Laughing Through the Pain (Conquering Cancer with Laughter) forwarded by Dr. William Hicks. All proceeds of this book help newly diagnosed breast cancer survivors and their families. Jowanda’s currently working on her second book which is a self-help guide for domestic violence survivors.
In January of 2016-2017 Jowanda hosted her own radio show entitled Living on Purpose which aired every Wednesday from 12 noon-3:00 pm on AM 1580 WVKO The Praise. She’s now living on purpose standing on the promises of God and believing Romans 8:28 For God causes all things to work together for the good of those called according to his purpose.
Andrea Dingess has been a wellness advocate for more than 8 years, in which she has increased in learning and experience in educating a more natural alternative to health. She is currently under the leadership of Tonya ”Tank the Nurse” Kerrin, who is helping her expand in certifications as well as incorporating her business.
Andrea likes to stay engaged in the community in regards to Women’s Health and is beginning to see a demand for her knowledge & inspiration. Being married and with five children, Andrea is often called Wonder Woman as she finds time to balance all her endeavors while she is committed to being a wife and a mother.
Dr. LaKeesha N. Leonard is a life, health, and wellness self-care coach who aims to inspire, equip, empower and encourage people, women in particular, to live their best life. She is a graduate of The Ohio State University where she earned her doctoral degree in Kinesiology and was a recipient of the Albert Schweitzer Fellowship. Through the Schweitzer Fellowship, she was charged with the responsibility of creating a community service project targeting health for an underserved population. The responsibility of this fellowship, along with her strong and passionate desire to help people live their best lives, led LaKeesha to create Project LIFE (Lifestyle Improvement through Faith and Empowerment).
Project LIFE initially began as a 10-week behavior change program designed to equip and empower African American Women to live healthier lives by engaging in regular physical activity and improving their nutritional habits. This aligns with her primary academic research interest of designing culturally-tailored, faith-based interventions that contribute to the holistic health of African American women. Since its inception, Project LIFE has continued to expand by yielding multiple intervention techniques; serving both genders, all ages, all races, and people of various spiritual orientations; and focusing on improvement of all aspects of life (spiritual, emotional, physical, financial, social).
She resides in Columbus, OH with her loving and supportive husband, Jesse and her endearing and energetic son, Judah. LaKeesha is a faithful member of New Birth Christian Ministries under the leadership of Pastor Kenneth E. Moore Sr. where she serves as a deacon and a full set percussionist. Catch some of LaKeesha’s daily inspiration at www.facebook.com/QueenDrLife or on Instagram: @QueenDrLife.
Registration for this event is now closed. We hope to see you at our next event!
New Birth Christian Ministries Cancer Warriors | A Cancer Support Group
Purpose: Educate men and women on cancer prevention and care.
Fellowship: New Birth Cancer Warriors meet on the second Wednesay each month at 6:00 pm in room 104. If you would like to fellowship with the Cancer Warriors, please contact the church at (614) 236-9080 ext. 409.