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MENTAL HEALTH NONPROFIT FOUNDER: Helping People Recover

About this video 

Gina is the founder of Mental Health Excellence. Gina works with philanthropists and raises funding for different research that benefits individuals with mental health illnesses. Gina goes into detail about her career and educational path along with what she wished she knew before starting her career.

School: University of Oregon ; Portland State Univeristy
Degree: Dance
Job Title: Mental Health Founder
Employer: Mental Health Excellence

Job Summary: Mental Health Counselors

Job Description

Mental Health Counselors counsel with emphasis on prevention, and work with individuals and groups to promote optimum mental and emotional health. They may help individuals deal with issues associated with addictions and substance abuse; family, parenting, and marital problems; stress management; self-esteem; and aging.

On-the-Job Training

Internship/residency

Additional Info

Mental Health Counselors must be licensed. Licensure requires a master’s degree and 2 years of supervised clinical experience. They must pass a state-recognized exam and complete annual continuing education classes.

Certification Requirement
Required by the National Board for Certified Counselors.

Quick Facts

Average salary
Average salary
National Statistic Change Location
Confirm
$25,000 - $65,000
Projected job growth
Projected Job Growth
30 to 40 percent
Typical schedule
Typical schedule
Full-time
Typical workplace
Typical workplace
Office, Indoor, Hospital / Clinic
Personal qualities
Personal Qualities
Patience, Problem solving skills, Verbal communication skills, People skills, Empathy, Organizational skills

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P3.instances[0].transcript.parse_transcript_data({"transcript":"<p><span m='120'>My</span> <span m='250'>name</span> <span m='570'>is</span> <span m='1370'>Gina</span> <span m='1620'>Nikkel.</span> <span m='2150'>I'm</span> <span m='2370'>the</span> <span m='2520'>president</span> <span m='3120'>and</span> <span m='3960'>the</span> <span m='4600'>CEO</span> <span m='5250'>for</span> <span m='5440'>the</span> <span m='5570'>Foundation</span> <span m='6170'>for</span> <span m='6310'>Excellence</span> <span m='6810'>in</span> <span m='7030'>Mental</span> <span m='7210'>Health</span> <span m='7560'>Care.</span> <span m='8790'>What</span> <span m='8980'>I</span> <span m='9040'>do</span> <span m='9240'>on</span> <span m='9390'>a</span> <span m='9470'>day-to-day</span> <span m='9960'>basis</span> <span m='10480'>is</span> <span m='10650'>I'm</span> <span m='10870'>the</span> <span m='11180'>CFO,</span> <span m='12020'>chief</span> <span m='12270'>financial</span> <span m='12760'>officer.</span> </p><p><span m='13450'>I'm</span> <span m='13810'>the</span> <span m='14180'>CEO.</span> <span m='14980'>I'm</span> <span m='15220'>the</span> <span m='15390'>HR</span> <span m='15800'>director.</span> <span m='16400'>I</span> <span m='16600'>have</span> <span m='16760'>a</span> <span m='16800'>lot</span> <span m='17010'>of</span> <span m='17060'>jobs</span> <span m='18180'>rolled</span> <span m='18440'>into</span> <span m='18650'>one.</span> <span m='19680'>But</span> <span m='20020'>my</span> <span m='20690'>staff</span> <span m='21210'>and</span> <span m='21360'>I--</span> <span m='21480'>I</span> <span m='21600'>have</span> <span m='21840'>four</span> <span m='22090'>staff--</span> <span m='23020'>and</span> <span m='23470'>basically,</span> <span m='24060'>what</span> <span m='24280'>we</span> <span m='24470'>do</span> <span m='24810'>is</span> <span m='24960'>we</span> <span m='25100'>work</span> <span m='25420'>for</span> <span m='25600'>the</span> <span m='25710'>Foundation</span> <span m='26320'>for</span> <span m='26440'>Excellence</span> <span m='26860'>in</span> <span m='26990'>Mental</span> <span m='27230'>Health</span> <span m='27500'>Care.</span> </p><p><span m='27850'>And</span> <span m='28060'>this</span> <span m='28340'>foundation--</span> <span m='29150'>what</span> <span m='29320'>it</span> <span m='29470'>does</span> <span m='30140'>is</span> <span m='30500'>it</span> <span m='30700'>matches</span> <span m='31230'>the</span> <span m='31320'>passion</span> <span m='31850'>of</span> <span m='31930'>private</span> <span m='32360'>philanthropy</span> <span m='33500'>with</span> <span m='33700'>the</span> <span m='33800'>world's</span> <span m='34250'>top</span> <span m='34550'>mental</span> <span m='34810'>health</span> <span m='35080'>researchers</span> <span m='35820'>and</span> <span m='36020'>programs.</span> <span m='37120'>And</span> <span m='37640'>basically</span> <span m='38560'>we</span> <span m='39330'>connect</span> <span m='39790'>private</span> <span m='40210'>philanthropers</span> <span m='41190'>with</span> <span m='41610'>those</span> <span m='42070'>programs</span> <span m='42930'>and</span> <span m='43320'>research</span> <span m='44760'>to</span> <span m='44890'>bring</span> <span m='45320'>recovery-based</span> <span m='46120'>care</span> <span m='46410'>to</span> <span m='46490'>every</span> <span m='46800'>community.</span> <span m='47610'>So</span> <span m='47850'>that's</span> <span m='48160'>what</span> <span m='48280'>our</span> <span m='48390'>mission</span> <span m='48720'>is.</span> <span m='48890'>We</span> <span m='49100'>really</span> <span m='49490'>want</span> <span m='49860'>to</span> <span m='50410'>help</span> <span m='50610'>people</span> <span m='51060'>recover</span> <span m='51530'>from</span> <span m='51770'>their</span> <span m='51880'>mental</span> <span m='52220'>health</span> <span m='52520'>challenges</span> <span m='53340'>and</span> <span m='53510'>get</span> <span m='53660'>the</span> <span m='53760'>best</span> <span m='54280'>help</span> <span m='55070'>the</span> <span m='55150'>world</span> <span m='55480'>has</span> <span m='55711'>to</span> <span m='55943'>offer.</span> </p><p><span m='56870'>So</span> <span m='57030'>a</span> <span m='57100'>typical</span> <span m='57520'>day</span> <span m='57930'>on</span> <span m='58130'>my</span> <span m='58260'>job</span> <span m='58700'>is</span> <span m='58910'>I'm</span> <span m='59490'>usually</span> <span m='60350'>at</span> <span m='60520'>an</span> <span m='60690'>airport</span> <span m='61250'>someplace--</span> <span m='62180'>flying</span> <span m='63220'>someplace.</span> <span m='64840'>I</span> <span m='65000'>meet</span> <span m='65269'>with</span> <span m='65510'>funders,</span> <span m='66590'>people</span> <span m='66960'>that</span> <span m='67160'>want</span> <span m='67500'>to</span> <span m='67600'>give</span> <span m='68320'>money</span> <span m='68630'>to</span> <span m='68800'>research.</span> <span m='70260'>I'm</span> <span m='70850'>at</span> <span m='71170'>conferences</span> <span m='71840'>like</span> <span m='72110'>this</span> <span m='72860'>getting</span> <span m='73160'>the</span> <span m='73250'>word</span> <span m='73610'>out.</span> </p><p><span m='73910'>I</span> <span m='74050'>do</span> <span m='74290'>radio</span> <span m='74730'>interviews.</span> <span m='75210'>I</span> <span m='75390'>do</span> <span m='75570'>TV</span> <span m='76030'>interviews.</span> <span m='76590'>We've</span> <span m='76810'>also</span> <span m='77140'>put</span> <span m='77340'>on</span> <span m='77520'>symposiums</span> <span m='78350'>so</span> <span m='78540'>a</span> <span m='78610'>lot</span> <span m='78830'>of</span> <span m='78910'>times</span> <span m='79410'>I</span> <span m='79920'>host</span> <span m='80430'>symposiums</span> <span m='80855'>at</span> <span m='82260'>universities</span> <span m='82980'>like</span> <span m='83290'>Yale,</span> <span m='84640'>Stanford,</span> <span m='85500'>USC--</span> <span m='87500'>a</span> <span m='87960'>lot</span> <span m='88170'>of</span> <span m='88230'>different</span> <span m='88530'>ones--</span> <span m='89660'>Boston</span> <span m='90070'>University,</span> <span m='90970'>University</span> <span m='91470'>of</span> <span m='91530'>Massachusetts.</span> </p><p><span m='93310'>And</span> <span m='93940'>then</span> <span m='94240'>of</span> <span m='94370'>course,</span> <span m='94780'>there's</span> <span m='95350'>back</span> <span m='95640'>at</span> <span m='95740'>the</span> <span m='95920'>office</span> <span m='96380'>where</span> <span m='96620'>I'm</span> <span m='96730'>doing</span> <span m='97070'>HR</span> <span m='97640'>work--</span> <span m='98620'>human</span> <span m='98970'>resources</span> <span m='100090'>work,</span> <span m='100870'>financial</span> <span m='101370'>office</span> <span m='102260'>work.</span> <span m='102800'>Because</span> <span m='103830'>the</span> <span m='103960'>CFO</span> <span m='104940'>has</span> <span m='105150'>to</span> <span m='105260'>make</span> <span m='105490'>sure--</span> <span m='106450'>particularly</span> <span m='106970'>in</span> <span m='107120'>a</span> <span m='107170'>501(c)3</span> <span m='108330'>that</span> <span m='108500'>all</span> <span m='108730'>the</span> <span m='108900'>I's</span> <span m='109150'>are</span> <span m='109220'>dotted,</span> <span m='109650'>T's</span> <span m='109920'>are</span> <span m='110660'>crossed,</span> <span m='111130'>and</span> <span m='111360'>records</span> <span m='111890'>are</span> <span m='112330'>kept.</span> <span m='112610'>So</span> <span m='112840'>there's</span> <span m='113020'>a</span> <span m='113100'>lot</span> <span m='113330'>of</span> <span m='113460'>little</span> <span m='113710'>facets.</span> <span m='115020'>Mostly</span> <span m='115550'>though,</span> <span m='115810'>I'm</span> <span m='115980'>on</span> <span m='116110'>the</span> <span m='116200'>phone</span> <span m='117530'>and</span> <span m='117840'>emailing</span> <span m='118500'>a</span> <span m='118570'>lot</span> <span m='118800'>of</span> <span m='118880'>people</span> <span m='119380'>that</span> <span m='119810'>really</span> <span m='120120'>want</span> <span m='120330'>to</span> <span m='120390'>participate</span> <span m='121150'>in</span> <span m='121290'>helping</span> <span m='121670'>people</span> <span m='122010'>get</span> <span m='122240'>better.</span> </p><p><span m='123060'>And</span> <span m='123420'>so</span> <span m='123570'>some</span> <span m='123820'>people</span> <span m='124100'>have</span> <span m='124260'>a</span> <span m='124310'>lot</span> <span m='124550'>of</span> <span m='124610'>money</span> <span m='124880'>to</span> <span m='124950'>give</span> <span m='125190'>for</span> <span m='125440'>research</span> <span m='125735'>and</span> <span m='126030'>programs.</span> <span m='126590'>And</span> <span m='126710'>other</span> <span m='126900'>people</span> <span m='127230'>have</span> <span m='127800'>$5</span> <span m='128479'>or</span> <span m='128539'>$10.</span> <span m='129910'>The</span> <span m='130020'>community</span> <span m='130620'>mental</span> <span m='130900'>health</span> <span m='131400'>bank--</span> <span m='132450'>as</span> <span m='132700'>we're</span> <span m='133090'>looked</span> <span m='133340'>at--</span> <span m='133520'>is</span> <span m='133750'>much</span> <span m='134080'>like</span> <span m='134270'>a</span> <span m='134380'>community</span> <span m='134950'>foundation.</span> </p><p><span m='135670'>A</span> <span m='135800'>community</span> <span m='136350'>foundation</span> <span m='136910'>is</span> <span m='137400'>small</span> <span m='137790'>geographically</span> <span m='139150'>but</span> <span m='139570'>the</span> <span m='139910'>members</span> <span m='140380'>of</span> <span m='140460'>that</span> <span m='140660'>community</span> <span m='141510'>come</span> <span m='141900'>together</span> <span m='142905'>to</span> <span m='144210'>fund</span> <span m='144770'>whatever</span> <span m='145280'>that</span> <span m='145570'>community</span> <span m='146110'>wants,</span> <span m='146590'>clean</span> <span m='146950'>water,</span> <span m='147870'>roads,</span> <span m='148370'>education,</span> <span m='149700'>et</span> <span m='149920'>cetera.</span> <span m='150700'>We</span> <span m='150830'>took</span> <span m='151020'>that</span> <span m='151190'>model</span> <span m='151790'>and</span> <span m='152110'>kind</span> <span m='152320'>of</span> <span m='152400'>flipped</span> <span m='152660'>it</span> <span m='152790'>around.</span> <span m='154050'>Because</span> <span m='154440'>we're</span> <span m='154570'>focused</span> <span m='154980'>solely</span> <span m='155330'>on</span> <span m='155440'>mental</span> <span m='155680'>health</span> <span m='156060'>outcomes</span> <span m='156610'>and</span> <span m='156710'>improving</span> <span m='157200'>them,</span> <span m='159390'>our</span> <span m='159650'>geographical</span> <span m='160320'>location</span> <span m='160790'>is</span> <span m='161030'>the</span> <span m='161150'>world</span> <span m='162080'>because</span> <span m='162530'>all</span> <span m='162740'>of</span> <span m='162830'>us</span> <span m='162990'>are</span> <span m='163050'>humans</span> <span m='163510'>and</span> <span m='163630'>have</span> <span m='163830'>a</span> <span m='163890'>mental</span> <span m='164110'>health</span> <span m='164370'>component.</span> <span m='165410'>And</span> <span m='166240'>we</span> <span m='166510'>focus</span> <span m='166910'>solely</span> <span m='167230'>on</span> <span m='167330'>improving</span> <span m='167780'>mental</span> <span m='167950'>health</span> <span m='168240'>outcomes.</span> </p><p><span m='169460'>My</span> <span m='169720'>undergraduate</span> <span m='170270'>degrees</span> <span m='170840'>are--</span> <span m='171380'>I</span> <span m='171480'>have</span> <span m='171620'>one</span> <span m='171790'>in</span> <span m='171900'>dance.</span> <span m='172840'>I</span> <span m='172930'>have</span> <span m='173140'>one</span> <span m='173320'>in</span> <span m='173530'>theater</span> <span m='175080'>and</span> <span m='175650'>had</span> <span m='175850'>a</span> <span m='175900'>lot</span> <span m='176070'>of</span> <span m='176140'>fun</span> <span m='176860'>in</span> <span m='177050'>undergraduate.</span> <span m='177770'>Then</span> <span m='177950'>I</span> <span m='178080'>decided</span> <span m='178570'>to</span> <span m='178650'>come</span> <span m='178880'>back</span> <span m='179170'>and</span> <span m='179500'>do</span> <span m='179690'>something</span> <span m='180610'>that</span> <span m='180740'>I</span> <span m='180780'>wanted</span> <span m='181070'>to</span> <span m='181160'>make</span> <span m='181340'>a</span> <span m='181390'>little</span> <span m='181590'>bit</span> <span m='181750'>more</span> <span m='181920'>money</span> <span m='182330'>at.</span> </p><p><span m='182580'>So</span> <span m='183140'>I</span> <span m='183440'>became</span> <span m='183770'>a</span> <span m='183830'>therapist.</span> <span m='185490'>And</span> <span m='185810'>as</span> <span m='186060'>I</span> <span m='186140'>was</span> <span m='186350'>a</span> <span m='186440'>therapist</span> <span m='187150'>and</span> <span m='187340'>spending</span> <span m='187800'>time</span> <span m='188970'>helping</span> <span m='189380'>people,</span> <span m='190580'>I</span> <span m='190700'>was</span> <span m='190910'>frustrated</span> <span m='191580'>with</span> <span m='191940'>the</span> <span m='193390'>way</span> <span m='193620'>that</span> <span m='193800'>the</span> <span m='193880'>money</span> <span m='194270'>wasn't</span> <span m='194680'>flowing</span> <span m='195120'>down</span> <span m='195460'>to</span> <span m='195520'>help</span> <span m='195760'>fund</span> <span m='196070'>programs.</span> <span m='197270'>So</span> <span m='197680'>I</span> <span m='197770'>became</span> <span m='198120'>a</span> <span m='198190'>county</span> <span m='198490'>commissioner.</span> </p><p><span m='200200'>I</span> <span m='200220'>ran</span> <span m='200530'>for</span> <span m='200680'>county</span> <span m='201000'>commissioner.</span> <span m='201710'>And</span> <span m='202090'>because</span> <span m='202510'>everybody</span> <span m='202960'>in</span> <span m='203080'>the</span> <span m='203180'>county</span> <span m='203560'>knew</span> <span m='203800'>me,</span> <span m='204260'>I</span> <span m='205040'>took</span> <span m='205300'>that</span> <span m='206450'>stance</span> <span m='206900'>for</span> <span m='207050'>a</span> <span m='207120'>while.</span> <span m='207970'>Then</span> <span m='208160'>I</span> <span m='208590'>had</span> <span m='208870'>the</span> <span m='208990'>opportunity</span> <span m='209285'>to</span> <span m='209580'>go</span> <span m='209720'>back</span> <span m='209920'>and</span> <span m='210020'>get</span> <span m='210150'>my</span> <span m='210280'>PhD</span> <span m='210840'>in</span> <span m='210980'>social</span> <span m='211380'>public</span> <span m='211720'>policy.</span> </p><p><span m='212880'>So</span> <span m='213570'>you</span> <span m='213870'>know,</span> <span m='214100'>really</span> <span m='214630'>in</span> <span m='214930'>nonprofit</span> <span m='215600'>work,</span> <span m='216680'>the</span> <span m='216810'>most</span> <span m='217070'>important</span> <span m='217540'>thing</span> <span m='217760'>is</span> <span m='217900'>to</span> <span m='217990'>get</span> <span m='218170'>an</span> <span m='218300'>education.</span> <span m='219140'>Really</span> <span m='219360'>doesn't</span> <span m='219620'>matter</span> <span m='220280'>what</span> <span m='220480'>it's</span> <span m='220980'>in--</span> <span m='221350'>whether</span> <span m='221700'>it's</span> <span m='221880'>business</span> <span m='222530'>or</span> <span m='223470'>education</span> <span m='224870'>or</span> <span m='225720'>counseling.</span> <span m='226910'>Whatever</span> <span m='227290'>you're</span> <span m='227530'>interested</span> <span m='228030'>in</span> <span m='228860'>can</span> <span m='229070'>lead</span> <span m='229360'>to</span> <span m='229590'>a</span> <span m='230240'>501(c)3</span> <span m='231330'>nonprofit</span> <span m='233090'>partnership.</span> </p><p><span m='234340'>One</span> <span m='234530'>of</span> <span m='234600'>the</span> <span m='234700'>things</span> <span m='235080'>that</span> <span m='235210'>I</span> <span m='235450'>wish</span> <span m='235940'>that</span> <span m='236130'>I</span> <span m='236210'>knew,</span> <span m='236620'>so</span> <span m='236860'>many</span> <span m='237130'>times</span> <span m='237810'>when</span> <span m='237950'>you're</span> <span m='238110'>young</span> <span m='238440'>you</span> <span m='238610'>don't</span> <span m='239010'>know</span> <span m='239190'>what</span> <span m='239370'>you</span> <span m='239510'>want</span> <span m='239690'>to</span> <span m='239780'>do.</span> <span m='241080'>The</span> <span m='241200'>one</span> <span m='241470'>thing</span> <span m='241650'>that</span> <span m='241780'>I</span> <span m='241840'>wish</span> <span m='242110'>that</span> <span m='242260'>I</span> <span m='242330'>knew</span> <span m='242630'>is</span> <span m='242820'>it's</span> <span m='243450'>OK</span> <span m='244490'>not</span> <span m='245000'>to</span> <span m='245200'>decide</span> <span m='245850'>what</span> <span m='246150'>you</span> <span m='246350'>want</span> <span m='246530'>to</span> <span m='246610'>do</span> <span m='247150'>when</span> <span m='247460'>you're</span> <span m='247850'>18</span> <span m='248260'>years</span> <span m='248530'>old.</span> <span m='249940'>That</span> <span m='250410'>going</span> <span m='250800'>and</span> <span m='250950'>getting</span> <span m='251710'>a</span> <span m='251850'>general</span> <span m='252300'>education--</span> <span m='253120'>I</span> <span m='253200'>mean,</span> <span m='253750'>if</span> <span m='253890'>you</span> <span m='253980'>know</span> <span m='254150'>specifics,</span> <span m='255010'>go</span> <span m='255170'>do</span> <span m='255410'>it.</span> </p><p><span m='256329'>If</span> <span m='256540'>you</span> <span m='256649'>don't</span> <span m='256899'>know,</span> <span m='257050'>there's</span> <span m='257250'>a</span> <span m='257310'>lot</span> <span m='257630'>of</span> <span m='257740'>work</span> <span m='258000'>out</span> <span m='258220'>there</span> <span m='258709'>that</span> <span m='259029'>a</span> <span m='259180'>general</span> <span m='259709'>education</span> <span m='260660'>will</span> <span m='260930'>fit</span> <span m='261220'>in</span> <span m='261769'>the</span> <span m='261870'>mold.</span> <span m='262280'>So</span> <span m='263560'>I</span> <span m='263880'>wish</span> <span m='264110'>I</span> <span m='264140'>would've</span> <span m='264410'>talk</span> <span m='264780'>to</span> <span m='264860'>more</span> <span m='265080'>people</span> <span m='266500'>that</span> <span m='267100'>worked</span> <span m='267400'>out</span> <span m='267520'>in</span> <span m='267580'>the</span> <span m='267660'>field</span> <span m='267970'>and</span> <span m='268080'>got</span> <span m='268290'>more</span> <span m='268500'>ideas.</span> <span m='268890'>Because</span> <span m='269060'>my</span> <span m='269260'>interests</span> <span m='269680'>are</span> <span m='269770'>so</span> <span m='269930'>varied.</span> </p>","file":{"id":681909,"video_id":"","name":"3170-Gina - Mental Health Nonprofit CEO.mp4","duration":270975,"thumbnail_url":null}});