Rachel Johnson-Yates is a licensed mental health and addiction counselor, public speaker, and educator with a demonstrated track record of developing innovative programs that focus on mental and behavioral health. She has dedicated her career to increasing access to care through approaching her work from an equity-focused and trauma-informed framework.
Rachel has extensive experience designing, launching, and replicating complex programs to meet the many disparate needs of the clients she serves. She has held significant leadership roles in outpatient behavioral health, state government, criminal justice, inpatient psychiatric care, low barrier shelters for veterans, higher education, and residential substance use disorder treatment. In each of these roles, Rachel has promoted the importance of holistic care through utilizing an integrated approach.
While in nonprofit leadership, Rachel was responsible for program design, development, and oversight. To ensure the sustainability and strong performance of programs under her purview, Rachel also managed the division’s quality assurance, accreditation, contract compliance, grant writing and management, and financial performance.
Prior to joining HMA, Rachel was deputy director and chief of staff with the Indiana State Division of Mental Health and Addiction. In this role, she oversaw statewide programming including crisis response, 988 and suicide prevention, as well as prevention and treatment for the mental health and substance use disorder populations. She served in a lead role to help orchestrate the state’s strategic response to the COVID-19 pandemic by launching an anonymous counseling hotline, a mental health resource website, and mental health literacy campaign. She also orchestrated the opening of 14 safe recovery sites for people who were positive for COVID-19 and experiencing housing insecurity.
During her time in state leadership Rachel worked toward creating large-scale systemic improvements including leading the Social Equity committee for the Family and Social Services Administration. She also designed and launched a statewide analysis of best practices in community mental health and spearheaded another project that evaluated service providers’ adherence to federal CLAS standards. As part of her work in quality improvement and assurance, Rachel led the overhaul and integration of Indiana’s certification, licensure, and quality improvement data management systems.
Rachel has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Hanover College and a Master of Arts in clinical psychology from University of Indianapolis. She also holds a certificate in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Workplace from University of South Florida and has been trained by the SAMHSA Gains Center to facilitate workshops on improving Trauma-Informed Care in Criminal Justice settings.