Taylor Robinson via LinkedIn

By Catrina Satterwhite

Lakeview Healthcare owner Sheridan Robinson is offering inclusive outpatient programming.

This may be quite the shocker but Dallas, Texas according to texashealth.org, ranks number one out of ten for worst mental health cities. Yikes! I’m sure that’s not what you were expecting. So, what city ranks best for mental awareness and services? Denver, Colorado. It looks like we have some work to do to get our city up to par. Obviously, the need is there, but the good news is that there are people who feel that it’s their life calling to help improve the lives of those suffering from mental illness.

I had the pleasure of speaking with Sheridan Robinson, owner of Lakeview Health Care [which is an outpatient program] here in Dallas, and she brought a lot of insight into this delicate topic. Whether it is addiction behavior therapy, EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Therapy), anxiety, depression, PTSD, or talk therapy, Lakeview Healthcare strives to help make life easier for those who don’t know where else to turn. Lakeview Health is led by a trauma-informed and clinically diverse team passionate about clients launching their life. Through evidence-based modalities, holistic opportunities, and empirical-based activities, individuals, teens, and children can find hope and healing.

“I started Lakeview Solutions in 2016 in Shreveport, Louisiana and it actually came about because I was doing an internship for someone and I was fortunate to learn the backend of the business. My trade in school was more so political science and public policy, and I was like yes I can do this, but as I learned on the backend of the business, I was like this is great, however from a personal standpoint, it meant a lot to me because coming from the community and environment I come from, I realized we weren’t as fortunate to have qualified and quality therapeutic services. Mental health was not something that was promoted within the community that I come from,” said Sheridan.

With mental health awareness on the rise, it’s unfortunate that some cities just don’t make it a point to provide quality healthcare for those in need. Within the Black community, though improved, there is still a lingering stigma on if this topic should even be talked about amongst say your family. Some Black families just don’t want to acknowledge that professional help is needed versus church help. Sheridan is making it a point to target minorities on getting the help they need.

According to namica.org, despite the needs, only one in three Black adults who need mental health care receive it. Besides stigma, there is provider bias, inequality of care, finding the right provider, and local support.

“In the Black community, we look at mental health as if you’re “crazy,” that you need to go to a mental facility and get medicated. When we speak about it in our household, it was shunned. The one thing that they said was relevant for us was to go to the church, go to the altar, let the pastor lay hands on you get it out of you,” said Robinson.

I wanted to know how she began Lakeview Healthcare.

“I started by being honest with myself and taking accountability that I needed help. It was also understood that I needed capital. Gaining capital was a hard thing initially but when I realized that I was the person who could get the business going, I then created my plan, and my outline and started sourcing out so I was then able to raise the capital and get everything started. I created a business plan and I took it to the guy that trained me in the field and he said it was something he was willing to invest in and provide the capital,” she said.

Sheridan sees a variety of clients, but unfortunately, she sees one issue more than others.

“Trauma. Sexual assault, you have drugs and substance abuse, but more so than not, it’s sexual assault. it’s from family members, close friends and that then that turns into substance abuse and alcohol abuse but for our community that’s not talked about “she said.

So how does Lakeview Healthcare begin to help those in need?

“With the initial visit, we will assess your needs based on if you are experiencing trauma. We have trauma therapy, we have addiction therapy. We also have assertive community treatment, which is more of a community-based therapeutic program, so we are out in the community at home, at school, or wherever you are to provide the services. We will do an assessment after the initial visit. The assessment will be with one of our clinicians whether it’s a psychiatrist, nurse practitioner, or clinical social worker. Once you have completed the assessment, if you need medication management, that will be something assessed again through the practitioner. If there is no medication needed, you will be placed with a therapist based off of your service needs,” Sheridan said.

What type of staff does it take to run Lakeview Healthcare?

“It’s high level. It’s very intense. We have a psychiatrist, and two nurse practitioners, one is solely towards kids and one is from youth to adults on the spectrum. We have a licensed clinical social worker. From there it comes down to licensed social workers to master health professionals, and then peer support specialists, so it’s just a tier on down and those individuals are very much so needed,” said Sheridan.

Sheridan has been seeing a lot of circumstances involving telehealth. If you don’t know what that is, a client can be anywhere and chat with their licensed clinicians such as at home or in a secluded area not in violation of HIPPA.

I was curious about how Lakeview Healthcare advertises its services to target minorities.

“I am out in the community, myself and my colleagues. We’ve been all across north Dallas and South Dallas going into the communities, going into the community centers, the hospitals and just building relationships,” she said.

Sheridan has hit the ground running since establishing Lakeview Healthcare just eight months ago in Dallas, though she originally was planted in Shreveport, LA.

Sheridan can recall her first case very vividly. It was an elderly veteran whom they were checking on because they had not heard from him. They got to the home. The home was infested with everything imaginable with no electricity or water. He was yelling and screaming and would not put any clothes on. They had to call the appropriate people to come and pick him up. They had to have him committed, which was heartbreaking to her.

Since relocating Lakeview Healthcare to Dallas, there have been a few challenges because there are so many organizations in Dallas in the mental health space, but Lakeview Healthcare stands out.

“This has been one of the most tough buildings in the Dallas community but also rewarding. Transitioning to Dallas, I feel like I can be a staple program in the Dallas community long-term, being able to provide inclusive services. I see my agency being the go-to for providing inclusive services, not just prescribing medication but actually listening to patients,” she said.

For more information on Lakeview Healthcare: