We are very excited to introduce our new Director of Mental Health Services, Maria Childress, LCSW. Maria joins the Bilingual International staff after a number of years in the St. Louis Public School system, where she coordinated the Social Work program for ESOL families with children in district schools. She has worked with St. Louis’s immigrant and refugee communities for over 25 years as an integral stakeholder and catalyst for the development of a variety of supports that now benefit New Americans in the St. Louis Area.
Maria earned her Masters in Social Work from St. Louis University and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She completed her clinical practicum under Sister Jean Abbott at the Center for Survivors of Torture and War Trauma, which merged with Bilingual International in 2016. As the Director of Mental Health Services, Maria will oversee adult, child, and family mental health programming at Bilingual international. These programs include Project Safe Space, our school-centered counseling program for children who’ve experienced trauma, our federally-funded treatment program for Survivors of Torture, and our STEPS to Better Health for individuals with comorbid physical and mental health conditions. Maria brings a wealth of incredibly relevant experience to the Bilingual International team, and we look forward to working with her to strengthen our growing Mental Health Department in its provision of culturally competent, clinical services.