Your browser does not support JavaScript!
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

June Fellow of the Month

All Fellows of the Month

Dr. Christopher Townsend

Fellow of the Month Profile Photo
Dr. Christopher Townsend is the director of the Your Life Behavioral Health and Wellness Clinic and assistant professor in the Department of Clinical Counseling and Mental Health at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. He had the opportunity to train the first MFP cohort in the Mental Health Facilitation model, which inspired him to pursue his doctorate degree and later apply to become an MFP Fellow.

After earning his doctoral degree, Dr. Townsend envisioned that he would return to training local mental health and addictions agencies, evaluating programs, and providing consultations; however, with support from the MFP and his university mentor Dr. Michael Brooks (North Carolina A&T State University), he began to move out of his comfort zone and considered the importance, as an African American man, of representing in academia. He happily accepted the charge and the greater responsibility of shaping future counselors’ thinking and began evoking a moral conscious toward the needs of underserved communities. He strives to ensure that multicultural and social justice models are at the forefront of students’ learning.

As an MFP Fellow, Dr. Townsend was paired with a mentor, Dr. Colette Dollarhide, who assisted him with developing a strong understanding of grounded theory. She was a staunch supporter during his dissertation process and provided access to MFP resources. His relationship with Dr. Dollarhide resulted in the formation of a writing team, which has secured two seed grants from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center to facilitate both a quantitative and qualitative study with plans to publish and apply for federal funding for a national study.

Dr. Townsend credits the MFP for his readiness to enter academia. The program assisted with resume preparation, interview preparation, and professional attire. He was hired as an “All but Dissertation” faculty (nontenured track) and after successfully defending his dissertation, moved into the tenured position as a faculty member serving on program, departmental, and university committees. Dr. Townsend also credits the amazing staff at NBCCF for their vision and execution of the MFP, which elevated his market place value and set him up to be a success and a value to communities.

When asked what career building advice he would offer current MFP fellows, Dr. Townsend had this to share: “Be an active learner. Avoid being a passive learner. Develop a plan of action and be accountable. Experience all that you can so there are no regrets. Meet as many people as possible. Form intentional relationships to strengthen areas of needed growth. Volunteer! To whom much is given much is required. My volunteering has brought more into my life than those opportunities that paid first.”

And for anyone who may be considering applying for the MFP, Dr. Townsend shared: “The program can escort you to the next level if you want it. The experience is a game changer. It’s life changing!”

All Fellows of the Month