Acting Executive Director
Mental Health Association in Pennsylvania
A native of Annapolis, Maryland, Shalawn L. James has lived and worked in Central Pennsylvania since 2004. During her time in Pennsylvania, she has focused her career on serving the community and providing support and advocacy marginalized communities.
Shalawn’s career has allowed her to counsel survivors of domestic violence. She also works with children and adolescents at Milton Hershey School and provides counseling to abused and neglected children and their families.
She provides support for those traveling their mental health journey. Her work includes advocating at the state and local level for policy change and reform regarding mental health awareness and suicide prevention. Shalawn’s work has been driven by her lived experiences, both personal and that of her family and friends.
Currently, Shalawn is the Acting Executive Director of the Mental Health Association in Pennsylvania (MHAPA). During her tenure at MHAPA, she has been a leader and advocates for advancing the rights of those with mental health concerns, advocating for health and wellness for mental health recovery, and connecting minorities and members of the LGBTQI communities with effective services and resources.
She serves as a member of the Mental Health Planning Council and has collaborated in the Suicide Prevention Task Force Efforts. She is a member of multiple county Stepping Up Committees, serves as the Governor’s appointee on the State Medical Marijuana Advisory Board as a patient advocate and an active member of the Central PA Sickle Cell Council.
Shalawn is an outspoken advocate for equal, affordable, and accessible mental health and wellness services for all individuals. In all that she does, she commits to the motto of “impact change.” Shalawn works to impact change for those that she has and will continue to serve.
Listen to Shalawn’s talk: United We Stand Divided We Fall.