Founder & Director of With A Child's Heart Behavioral Health Center, AlexisStar, LLC, Inspirationalist, & Boss Mom: A Interview With Mikah Miller
Hi Mikah, can you start by introducing yourself? Please include education, social, and cultural background.
Hello. My Mikah Miller and I am a Licensed Professional Counselor in Georgia. I am a proud HBCU Graduate of Tuskegee University (TU), with a Masters degree from Argosy University. I was born in Washington, D.C. and spent all of my pre-teen and teen years living in Atlanta, Georgia. I have an amazing seven years old son that keeps me busy. He has dreams to become the next Ralph Tresvant or Bobby Brown, so as you can see, I have my hands full.
You are the founder of A Child's Heart Behavioral Health Center & AlexisStar, LLC. Please tell us how you got started with them and where you are now in the business.
Yes, I am the founder of With A Child's Heart Behavioral Health Center and Alexis Star, LLC. So, I am a Therapist by trade and passion. I've always wanted to focus my work on children somehow. I am a funny girl, so I use a lot of humor and high energy in my therapeutic approach with my clients. I've worked in several different settings, including, community mental health, Integrated Care, at an Adolescent Residential psychiatric facility, Adult Substance Abuse Rehabilitation programs, and as a Senior Care Manager for a leading Managed Care Organization. I resigned from my full-time job in October of 2017, and I am full time in my practice. My practice is in Canton, Georgia and it's grown a lot in a year. We just added more team members, and I am in the planning stages of opening a second location in Marietta, Georgia.
Now AlexisStar, LLC is my Beauty Brand company. I've always been big on hair, nails and other beauty products. I was an apprentice in a hair salon in High School, and It was my goal actually to attend cosmetology school after high school. So AlexisStar is just my way of going full circle and working on my 2nd passion. I launched that in February of this year 2018. The goal of AlexisStar is to assist women that have gone through some life changes, including grief and loss, divorce, childbearing, domestic violence, and medical illnesses to name a few, that they may feel stripped or like they lost their sexy. I want all women to preserve their sexy at all cost! So, with our products, it is our goal to help women improve their self-worth and self-esteem. Currently, we only sell hair and eyelashes. We are working on our other products now for 2019-2020.
Has it been an easy ride, or did you experience bumps along the way? Elaborate on it
Definitely! Coming out of college making $10 an hour. You tell me? Lol. But yes. I paid my dues. It was a long journey, and I had to bite my tongue often. I've always been a team player, but I've also still had an Entrepreneur's heart! So, it was only a matter of time. And it's been a blessing. I wouldn't trade any of the hardships for anything. They molded me and made me who I am today. It wasn't overnight, I will tell you that much.
What type of services do you provide with A Child's Heart Behavioral Health Center?
We specialize in creative and high energy counseling for children and teenagers struggling with a variety of mental health issues, behavioral issues, and even with just life transitions itself. It's a rough world out there these days with social media. So, we try to help kids navigate through life and all the challenges that come with that.
What type of service do you provide with AlexisStar, LLC?
So right now, we provide luxury hair extensions and eye lash extensions. We are working on our product line now for 2019-2020. So, stay tuned.
"With A Child's Heart Behavioral Health Center, it is our goal to provide empirically-supported, ethical, and compassionate care to our patients. We specialize in the confidential treatment of children, adolescents, adults, and families with a diverse spectrum of psychological and emotional challenges" could you elaborate more on this?
Yes. So, we are trained and educated in the field of Psychology and Counseling Psychology. So not only do we have the skills to meet the needs of our clients; but we do it ethically and compassionately. We treat them with as much care as we would want someone to treat our own. And we don't discriminate. We work with everyone, and we work with a variety of issues children face. So, that is what that statement means.
How does your day to day reflect your mission statement?
Well, I am a devote student to this field. To be a teacher, you must first be a student. I am always reading and studying ways to make our center better: ways to help our kids and techniques to improve ourselves as counseling professionals. I also supervise other Therapist, so it's essential for me to stay in the know. I walk with integrity, faith, and compassion on a daily basis. I treat everyone with the heart of a child. Life happens to us all. I see everyone in that way. No man is more significant than another.
How many clients do you have at the moment and have you met your 2018 goal(s)?
Whew; Currently, we have 64 active clients. And that is not including the client's we are adding for our new clinicians. And I have met my 2018 goals. We started expanding early. That was the goal for 2019. We are excited!
You are based in Georgia; how much are your services needed around there?
They are needed a great deal. You have to understand it’s the South. So not everyone buys into the idea of therapy. And not to sound too antiquated, but mental health in the past was viewed as practice for people that belonged in an institution or method of performing lobotomies. So, there is a lingering negative stigma surrounding treatment. It's getting a lot better, but we definitely need these services more readily available and especially in the black communities in Georgia. There is a lot of Transgenerational trauma going on. If we could just get mental health check-ups viewed as a necessity like physicals and dental check-ups, I could see things improving even more in Georgia.
Is this your full-time business or do you have a 9 - 5? if you do, how do you balance both? And also, with AlexisStar, LLC?
Yes. I work in my Center fulltime. And AlexisStar, LLC is a "side hustle." I plan to grow them both to their fullest potentials.
What is one thing you would absolutely want to see change in the field of Mental Health?
I must say, we've already come a long way. I see significant changes already. But I would love to see more mental health centers and offices in lower-income communities. It's better than it was, but I would like to see it continue to be encouraged in schools, doctor's offices, and in the workplace.
In your line of work, and personally what does success mean to you?
I am a Mother first. So, for me, it’s important that my job is rewarding and fulfilling, but also flexible enough to allow me the opportunity to be involved with my son's school and extracurricular activities. For me, that's a success.
What advice do you have for any millennial who wants to get into the social work and psychology world?
Don't lead with money, lead with passion. If it's your passion to help others and you treat it as such during every stage of this process, the money will come. Don't let people talk you out of pursuing this career because they say, "it doesn't make money." Listen to me. I haven't regretted a day of my journey yet!
Anything you would like to add for your/our readers?
Don't listen to naysayers. Pursue your passions and ignore all outside noise. People will try and talk you out of what they themselves would be scared to do. If you can see it, believe it, and you can achieve anything.