We’re excited to introduce you to the always interesting and insightful Lucy Cannon. We hope you’ll enjoy our conversation with Lucy below.
Lucy, thanks for joining us, excited to have you contributing your stories and insights. Have you ever had an amazing boss? What did you learn from them? Maybe you can share a story that illustrates the kind of boss they were or maybe you can share your thoughts on what you think made them an awesome person to work for?
Ms. Mary Peagler was the Director of Social Work at North Alabama Regional Hospital, Decatur, GA approximately 25 years ago, I was a supervisor in her department. She was very encouraging and supportive of me as a new social worker in a new state. When I did not pass my Social Work Exam (This was a requirement to stay in the position), she was very helpful and provided a great deal of educational support throughout my stay at this organization. I successfully passed my Social Work Exam when I took the test the second time. I received my licensed clinical social worker license during my employment with this organization. She was helpful in helping me develop my management skills. She was the best supervisor I have ever had.
As always, we appreciate you sharing your insights and we’ve got a few more questions for you, but before we get to all of that can you take a minute to introduce yourself and give our readers some of your back background and context?
Dr. Lucy Roberts-Cannon is the Owner/CEO of LEJ Behavioural Health Services, LLC. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the states of Georgia and Alabama. She is a certified Medication Assisted Treatment Specialist (MATS). She specializes in children and adolescents and adult behavioral health services. She has worked in inpatient psychiatric hospitals and outpatient behavioral health programs for over 30 years including outpatient mental health clinics, managed care, Office of Regulatory Services with the Department of Behavioural Health and Developmental Disabilities Programs (DBHDD), supportive living housing services, day treatment programs, college professor, and Department of Defense school programs in Camp Zama, Japan, and SERCO (United States Navy Reserve Command).
Her career in these fields consists of various roles and responsibilities including clinician, facilitator, supervisor, manager, auditor/trainer of mental health and substance abuse services, director, professor, and consultant for the United States Navy Reserve. Dr. Cannon is an Adjunct Professor at Clark Atlanta University Graduate School of Social Work. She is a national trainer for various healthcare organizations in Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Tennessee, Louisiana, Kentucky, California, and Pennsylvania.
She serves as Vice-President of the Georgia School of Addictions Studies Board of Directors, the South-Eastern Institute for Chemical Dependency Board of Directors- Board Member, Alcohol & Drug Abuse Certification Board of Directors- Board Member, and Transformational Leadership Collaborative- A Police and Community-Based Initiative Board of Directors-Vice President. She also serves on various Advisory Boards including Morehouse School of Medicine National Center for Primary Care Southeast Addiction Technology Transfer Center (SATTC), Office of Behavioural Health Prevention Department of Behavioural Health & Developmental Disabilities (DBHDD) Georgia Suicide Prevention Plan Workgroup, DBHDD Community Advisory Council for Suicide Prevention, and Cedar Grove High School Marketing Advisory Board. She published an article entitled; “Co-Occurring Disorders; The Silent Suffering of our Nation’s Soldiers” in the spring of 2017 in Program Success Magazine. Dr. Cannon is an advocate for individuals and family members who are diagnosed with co-occurring disorders.
How do I help my clients- I am a licensed mental health therapist who has and continues to provide individual and family therapy to people with all types of mental health, trauma, and substance abuse problems. These individuals come to us healthcare professionals because they need to have hope and believe that their circumstances can and will get better. We must have the education, cultural sensitivity, skills, and ongoing training to help our clients obtain their person-centered goals. I have worked diligently at improving my clinical skills and getting additional certifications and training to meet the needs of my clients. I am very compassionate, empathetic, and respectful, and work diligently to be an advocate for my clients. My unique ability to meet clients where ever they are in their lives without being judgemental, and my willingness to provide the necessary support and treatment they need to be effective in their lives. “I have had many clients and their families on my journey, tell me about their gratitude for my support, belief in their abilities, and determination to help them develop the necessary skills needed for them to survive in their environment. I am also committed to continuing my pro-bono work with my church and community.
I want my clients to know that I have a great deal of compassion and empathy for their courage and willingness to go on a journey with the counseling skills and tools I bring to the therapeutic relationship. I also bring a great deal of knowledge about community resources and how to help clients access the services they need. I am also very loyal and committed to the treatment with my clients.
I have had so many amazing and challenging experiences in the Social Work field. I am very proud of the work I do with my clients and continue to do over the years. I am especially proud to have started a training and consulting behavioral health services company that is now going into its 9th year. With much hard work and determination, I have strengthened my speaking/presentation skills which have allowed me to provide training to healthcare organizations in Georgia and throughout the United States. Approximately two years ago, I had the honor of being a speaker at the largest Drug Summit Conference in the United States. The President of the United States was our keynote speaker along with many of the United States’ leading speakers e.g. Center for Disease Control, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), and other key organization that contribute to substance use disorders and treatment. I am also very proud of my recent work with Georgia Suicide Prevention Task Force and serving on the committee that developed a state-wide 5-year suicide pre and postvention suicide program, and Reviewer for SAMHSA for the recently updated Treatment for Stimulant Use Disorders, Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP 33, Updated 2021).
I am also proud of the work I am doing with the Transformational Leadership Committee whose purpose is to work with police officers and mental health professionals on eliminating racial inequality especially as it relates to police brutality and the “Black Lives Matter Movement.” My work as an advocate for social change and equality for all people regardless of their disability, gender preferences, age, race, ethnic background, marginalized communities, and any disadvantaged person is very important to me as a therapist who has spent a career helping disadvantaged people.
Any stories or insights that might help us understand how you’ve built such a strong reputation?
I believe several factors have helped me build my reputation within the healthcare field; The COO of my company, Ms. Jasmine Padmore who has worked with healthcare providers in the Georgia community for an extensive period, identified the following strengths of Dr. Cannon’s work as a committed professional;
Her clients are very impressed with her professionalism and commitment to providing a timely and well-done product.
Other adjectives that describe Dr. Cannon’s work as stated by many of her clients/contractors;
She has a great deal of integrity, fairness with all people, passion for helping others, and genuineness. She is very helpful and goes beyond expectations when it comes to providing quality services to her clients.
LEJ Behavioral Health Services, LLC, Information and Technology staff, Ms. Gooseberry states that Dr. Cannon is a hard worker, but before the recent COVID Pandemic, she was very comfortable with her contractual work with her clients. The pandemic in my opinion forced her to further develop her company assets and resources for the healthcare field providers. She has and continues to demonstrate a great deal of strength in further developing her training skills and use of technology. She has made some major milestones with her business over the last two years.
I agree with my staff, Ms. Padmore and Ms. Gooseberry, who has worked with me for several years about my strength as a leader in the healthcare field. I also believe all of my experiences in this field from being a clinician, supervisor, manager, audit reviewer, and teacher, and working on various leading boards of directors in Georgia have also been major contributors to my success and reputation in this field. I also believe my willingness to mentor and provide resources and support to students, and other professionals in this field have been and continue to be an asset in this field.
Can you tell us about what’s worked well for you in terms of growing your clientele?
I believe it is necessary to determine what type of business an individual wants to invest in. When I started thinking about developing my company, LEJ Behavioral Health Services, LLC 20 years ago, I thought it would primarily be a mental health counseling center although, I don’t think I took myself seriously. The most effective strategies that have been very helpful in growing my clientele; 1. It is necessary to listen to colleagues, family members, friends, and associates when they identify your skills and what they see as your abilities. I had been told for years by colleagues and family to consider starting my own company because of the skills I possess. My doubt and fear about my abilities for years prevented me from moving forward with the development of my business until I got laid off from my job nine years ago.
2. I had been teaching for several years in the academic community and did pretty well teaching. Teaching in my opinion was like preparing for training with other added academic teaching requirements. I knew how to put together a lesson plan and how to make my classes interesting with the utilization of experiential activities. This was a contributor factor to pursuing starting a training and consulting business instead of a mental health agency for my company.
3. My experience as an auditor/trainer before the layoff of my last job was also very helpful. I got the opportunity to train and audit healthcare programs (Medicaid) throughout the state of Georgia. This job also required me to learn the technical aspects of setting up training for the organizations.
4. The most effective strategy for growing my clientele is the networking of key organizations and individuals in the field. Serving on Boards of Directors has also been very helpful in expanding my clientele.
5. I continuously work on my awareness and researching the most relevant knowledge and information about the healthcare field and strengthening my computer skills.
- Website: www.lejbhs.com
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lejbhsservices
- Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dr-lucy-cannon-1040b68/