Harriette Patrick Barron feels called to encourage and show the light of Jesus Christ through her evangelism, books, and social media posts. The Author and Motivational Speaker has served as a youth Pastor, praise leader, and community outreach coordinator through her local church. She has over 18 years of professional experience advocating as a Mental Health Crisis Specialist, A Child Abuse Investigator, A foster care worker, and a Personal care attendant for disabled adults. Harriette graduated from Sam Houston State University with a B.A in Sociology. She has authored 3 books and has many more stories to tell.
“My motivation for what I do is that after I gave birth to two severely premature children, I needed a way to care for them. I found a way to make some income and care for my two children at home with all their medical needs. I am also inspired to because I have a chance to use all my experience in my daily life.”
BLAQVERSITY MAGAZINE: YOU WEAR MANY DIFFERENT HATS IN THE FIELD IN SOCIAL SERVICES/MENTAL HEALTH. LET’S TALK ABOUT BEING A MENTAL HEALTH CRISIS SPECIALIST. HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN IN THAT FIELD?
HARRIETTE PATRICK-BARRON: I was in the field a total of 6 years. I left the mental health field to become a child foster home worker. I however continued to work with children in mental health crisis as a foster home worker.
BLAQVERSITY: HOW IMPORTANT IS MENTAL HEALTH TO YOU AND WHY DO YOU THINK IT SHOULD BE TALKED ABOUT MORE?
HARRIETTE: Mental Health has been a part of my career for as long as I can remember. I have also experienced severe mental health issues after I was the victim of a kidnapping and sexual assault. I experienced another mental health crisis after giving birth to a still born baby. It was a long journey, but with counseling and strong faith, my life got back on track. Mental Health is important because with proper counseling and a positive outlook on life. Anyone can make it through any crisis that life throws at you. Some people don’t know that and they end their life in the middle of the crisis.
BLAQVERSITY: WHAT DOES YOUR JOB INTEL AS A MENTAL HEALTH SPECIALIST?
HARRIETTE: As a Mental Health Crisis Specialist, my job was literally to keep people from committing suicide. People would call the crisis hotline or walk into the Mental Health Clinic thinking of suicide or homicide. I also would go to people who had already attempted suicide and visit them in the hospital or jail. My job would assist them in getting into into a short or long term hospital for more services.
BLAQVERSITY: WHY DO YOU THINK THAT MENTAL HEALTH WITHIN AFRICAN-AMERICANS IS IMPORTANT? DO YOU THINK IT’S TALKED ABOUT LESS IN COMMUNITIES?
HARRIETTE: Sadly out of 6 years as a mental health specialists, I observed that most of the clients were not African American. If I saw an African American in crisis, they were at the point of severe crisis. I wondered why they didn’t seek help sooner. Most were discouraged by family or friends from coming. There is a false narrative that only white people or weak people need counseling. This is a false narrative and we have to work harder to dispel it.
BLAQVERSITY: YOU ARE ALSO A CHILD ABUSE INVESTIGATOR, FOSTER CARE WORKER AND A PERSONAL CARE ATTENDANT FOR DISABLED ADULTS. TELL US A LITTLE BIT MORE ABOUT EACH JOB POSITION YOU HOLD
HARRIETTE: That is a lot of hats to wear. Most recently I worked as a foster care worker. Before that I was a Child Abuse Investigator. These were both with Child Protective Services. These involved Investigating allegations of children being abused or neglected by their caretakers. As a foster home worker, I would monitor children already removed from their parents. They felt alone so many times and sadly some were abused in foster care. The I loved my career and developed a personal relationship with all of the kids on my caseload. I would call them my children. It broke my heart when I had to resign due to the death of my own baby. It was a painful decision, but it was for my own mental health that I had to leave “my children.” However, I currently work a personal care attendant for disabled adults. This job enables me to work from home and care for my own two girls until they are school aged. I have a chance to use my experience as a mental health experience every day in current field.
BLAQVERSITY: WHAT WAS THE INSPIRATION/MOTIVATION BEHIND WHAT YOU DO?
HARRIETTE: My motivation for what I do is that after I gave birth to two severely premature children, I needed a way to care for them. I found a way to make some income and care for my two children at home with all their medical needs. I am also inspired to because I have a chance to use all my experience in my daily life.
BLAQVERSITY: AS A MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKER, WHAT TOPICS DO YOU TALK ABOUT?
HARRIETTE: Well, my parents were Pastors for most of my life. Inspiration has always been apart of my life. As a child, other children would tell me their problems. I would pray for them and give them advice even back then. I laugh sometimes thinking, that I have been a motivational speaker since I was 8 years old. I speak on topics of Keeping your Faith in hard times, The importance of seeking mental health counseling when needing, Handling the crisis of sexual assault and molestation. Lately, I have been motivating men and women who have experience a hard loss in their lives. My message is one of recovery through Christ for all people.
BLAQVERSITY: WHAT DO YOU WANT PEOPLE TO TAKE AWAY FROM YOUR MESSAGES?
HARRIETTE: I want people to know that anyone can recover from any crisis, any challenge, and anything that life brings with proper direction and faith in God.
BLAQVERSITY: TELL US MORE ABOUT YOUR BOOKS. WHAT ARE THEY ABOUT?
HARRIETTE: My first book is called “Coffee Time with Daddy” that is my story of my kidnapping and recovery from sexual assault. It is a step by step recovery manual for those affected by molestation and rape. It has helped so many victims and their families. My first novel is called, “The Conversion Of The Thug” it is the story of a young converted gang member. He is taken back in time so that he can end the evil cycle of failure in his family. Everyone who has read it, says it is truly a life changer.
Most recently, I wrote a novel called “By This Time Next Year.” I put my heart and soul into this book. This is a story about a young woman who experiences tragedy at the beginning of the year. However, by that same time next year, her life has completely changed. The book follows her ups and downs through the year. It is an awesome story of love, loss, and faith. It will make you laugh and cry.
BLAQVERSITY: WHAT GAVE YOU THE CONCEPT OF “THE CONVERSION OF THE THUG”?
HARRITTE: My husband actually inspired me with his life story. He was in a vicious gang before he gave his life to Christ. My father experienced abandonment by his father which hurt him very deeply. My father and I had deep conversations before he died. My husband’s story of abandonment and rebellion lead him to join a gang. My father’s pain affected him and those two personal stories gave me the idea of my main character. I realized that every system was failing our boys and men. I feel that God gave me a story that would affect men for the better.
BLAQVERSITY: DO YOU PLAN ON WRITING MORE BOOKS IN THE NEAR FUTURE?
HARRIETTE: I have so many stories to tell and so many lives to inspire. Yes, there will be more books, speaking engagements, more lives to influence.
BLAQVERSITY: HOW CAN READERS CONNECT WITH YOU?
HARRIETTE: They can go to my website at www.harriettepatrickbarron.com
They can find me on Facebook and Instagram at Harriette Patrick Barron
I can also be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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