Talena Justice

Rural Mental Health: Cultural Competence, Ecological Perspective, and Training

Talena Justice is a licensed independent clinical social worker currently working in an inpatient psychiatric hospital in West Virginia.

As a native to the state, Talena is passionate about working with individuals in her area who reside in or are from rural areas.

She has experience in both inpatient and outpatient settings. Her previous outpatient work included providing counseling to students from college to elementary school age, and individuals with substance use disorder receiving medication-assisted treatment (MAT). While she has enjoyed working with all age groups, her most heightened interest is treatment for adults.

Talena obtained her Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Psychology from Marshall University in Huntington, WV. She went on to obtain her Master of Social Work (MSW) from the same university. She is now a Doctoral Candidate in the University of Kentucky’s Doctorate of Social Work (DSW) program with a concentration of Administration and Leadership. Her anticipated graduation date is May 5, 2023. Her focus throughout UK’s DSW program has been on improving cultural competence in rural areas through alterations to existing policy and training methods for mental health professionals at community mental health centers.

Although Talena’s current position and work experience have a heavy involvement with micro social work practice, she looks forward to using her doctoral studies to transition her role to macro social work once she graduates from UK’s DSW program.

Aside from being a social worker and lifelong learner, Talena enjoys traveling, gardening, and spending time with her two dogs, family, and friends.