Dr. Shainna Ali is a Guyanese-American Mental Health Counselor, Educator, and Advocate.
She obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology, Master of Arts in Mental Health Counseling & Doctorate of Philosophy in Education-Counselor Education, respectively from the University of Central Florida.
During her undergraduate and graduate studies, she was heavily involved in extracurricular activities that have contributed to her successful career. Ali served as the President of the Florida Association for Multicultural Counseling & Development and was in first place in the Florida Statewide Research Symposium.
Also, she served on the Board of Directors of The Mental Health Association of Central Florida. And she was awarded many fellowships, including the Delores Auzenne Fellowship and the Research and Mentoring Program Fellowship.
Currently, she teaches specialized workshops, but previously she taught counselor trainees at the University of Central Florida, Rollins College & Northwestern University.
Ali is passionate about destigmatizing mental health counseling and helping individuals across the world while recognizing the “importance of fostering mental wellness.”
Additionally, Ali serves as the Host of the Mental Wellness Practice Podcast, which focuses on promoting awareness of mental health.
She is the author of multiple works, including “The Self-Love Workbook,” “The Self-Love Workbook for Teens,” “Luna Finds Love Everywhere: A Self-Love Book for Kids,” “The Self-Love Planner,” and “Designing Healthy Boundaries.”
Aside from her literacy work, Dr. Shainna owns and operates Integrated Counseling Solutions, LLC — a strengths-based clinical mental health and consulting practice located in Central Florida.
Dr. Shainna has been honored with the Association for Specialists in Group Work’s Al Dye Award, the Pete Fischer Humanitarian Award, and by UCF’s 30 under 30 for her efforts in promoting mental wellness.
Through connecting her work to her Guyanese roots, she created the Guyanese American Mental Health research team, in an effort to “help understand presenting concerns, raise awareness, and form culturally-responsive treatment strategies.”
“Our hope is that we can use our templates to expand our research throughout the diaspora and ultimately help to improve the research and mental health gaps that exist in our community,” Shainna Ali said.
She goes on to explain how encouraging the discussion surrounding mental health awareness and wellness and challenging stigmas can help individuals “lean into self-reflection, growth, and social support.”
“I believe we all have mental health and we can all choose mental wellness, Ali said. “If available, have conversations about mental health in your community and lean into mutual support. Finally, if the challenge persists, know that this is normal. Don’t give up, seek the help of a mental health professional to assist you in your journey.”
Her work has been featured on outlets such as ABC News, CBS News, NPR, The Washington Post, and Insider Inc.
You can learn more through her website and follow her on Instagram.