News | January 31, 2020

College of Health & Human ServicesNews

FGCU mental health crusader to be recognized as a Mentor of IMPACT

Bartley's presence at FGCU has already made an impact on mental health services for the local community

Having a mentor to help navigate life’s many decisions can be invaluable. A major benefit of connecting with a supportive professional is the help such a person can provide advancing a career.

Southwest Florida is fortunate to have many of these mentors at the height of their careers who are giving back to those finding their way.  Alise Bartley, Ph.D., director of FGCU’s Community Counseling Center and clinical assistant professor, is one of those advisors and will be recognized for her work as a 2020 Mentor of Impact at Earn To Learn FL’s event Feb. 19.

“I believe in the importance of mentoring and helping people who are interested in growing and developing, not just in the field of mental health, but trying to improve the quality of their lives,” said Bartley.

Photo shows counseling
“When you make a connection with someone, you have to be respectful of that connection,” Alise Bartley says. Photos: James Greco/FGCU

Seven other individuals will be recognized alongside her at the Mentors of IMPACT celebration including: FGCU President Mike Martin, Ph.D.; Joe Catti of FineMark Bank; philanthropist Myra Daniels; NBC-2 anchor Kellie Burns; Susan McManus of Champions for Learning; Gail Markham of Markham Norton Mosteller Wright & Co., P.A.; and Mark Stevens of Stevens Construction.

Earn To Learn FL is a match-savings program that equips students with the financial literacy skills to successfully finish college with little or no debt. Bartley believes in this mission.

“Earn To Learn is an organization that is passionate, just like I am, about education and finding opportunities for young people to be invested in something. It also allows them, through the investment, to grow and develop and to become self-sufficient,” said Bartley.

With a career in academia for more than two decades and extensive experience within her own private practice, Bartley moved to Southwest Florida from Ohio 2½ years ago. Her presence at FGCU has already made an impact on mental health services for the local community.

“Especially when it comes to mental health, we are starting to break through some of the negative connotations to really focus on health and wellness,” said Bartley.

Bartley saw the need for access to mental and behavioral health services for people of all ages, regardless of their socioeconomic status. She helped kickstart FGCU’s Community Counseling Center. The center opened in November and is serving clients from ages 4 to 90. Student interns can get hands-on experience while working closely with Bartley.

“The more and more people we have making that shift and understanding what mental health means, the better off society is going to be as a whole,” Bartley said.

photo shows counselor
Alise Bartley’s presence at FGCU has already made an impact on mental health services for the local community.

Her own mentor fueled her passion for giving back to others. She gravitated toward an advisor in her doctoral program who demonstrated the power of making time for students and those in the early stages of their careers.

“It made me realize that when you make a connection with someone, you have to be respectful of that connection,” Bartley said. “They’ve reached out to you for a reason, so you need to connect with them as soon as possible.”

This connection has not been lost with the students and community members Bartley interacts with every day. Linda Weaver is a clinical mental health counseling masters-level student intern at FGCU. She met Bartley in 2018, and their relationship as mentor and mentee is strong.

“The most significant impact she has had on me is her example of integrity and approachable nature,” said Weaver. “Dr. Bartley has helped me to be a better counselor. She uses her extensive experience as a counselor and her knowledge to apply coursework to real life.”

Weaver appreciates how Bartley leads by example and how honesty guides her decisions, both personally and professionally. Weaver has grown from Bartley’s practical examples in the classroom and constructive feedback.

“When determining the best counseling approach for a client’s pressing issue, I know that I can conceptualize the case with Dr. Bartley and she will assist me with an approach that is both effective and helpful for the client,” Weaver said.