By Bobbie Carlton
Sage Institute for Psychedelic Therapy, a 501(c)3 non-profit which provides high-quality training and accessible psychedelic therapy to underserved communities, announced on Monday the arrival of its new executive director, Dr. Deidra Somerville.
Somerville has a background in social work and many years of experience in nonprofit management, fundraising, community development, and diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) facilitation. She believes in a human-first model of working within organizations, prioritizing community and relationship building. Originally from San Francisco, Somerville returned to the Bay Area from Illinois.
“On behalf of the Sage Institute board of directors, we welcome Dr. Deidra Somerville as our incoming executive director,” said Kat Conour, Sage Institute for Psychedelic Therapy board chair. “Given Dr. Somerville’s expertise and clear dedication to fostering health and well-being for diverse and underserved communities, we trust that our mission and all those we serve will be in the right hands. We are confident she is the ideal person to grow Sage Institute into what we always envisioned it could be, and more.”
“I’m honored and excited to join Sage Institute,” said Somerville. “This is a time of great change and opportunity for our beloved community of practitioners, partners, volunteers, donors and the individuals, families, and communities we serve.
“I believe Sage Institute to be well positioned to effectively lead and serve during this time of momentous growth,” Somerville said. “We are training practitioners, providing much needed access to psychedelic therapy to underserved communities, and building pathways to contribute to the body of research on the risks and benefits of psychedelic-assisted therapy with diverse client populations. I am eager to bring my experiences as an advocate, organizer, fundraiser, researcher, administrator and healer to lead and serve the Sage Institute community.”
Sage Institute is the only organization that offers low-fee sliding-scale ketamine-assisted therapy alongside paid training for intern therapists gaining hours towards licensure as social workers, marriage and family therapists, and psychologists. Committed to training the next generation of diverse clinicians and leaders in the field, Sage Institute also offers a scholarship program to assist clinicians from diverse backgrounds to overcome financial and structural barriers to their participation.
Somerville’s top priorities for the next three months are to:
- Further strengthen Sage Institute’s capacity to serve an ever-growing client base
- Diversify the organization’s revenue streams with thriving partnerships
- Develop a pipeline to licensure for graduates of the training program
About Dr. Deidra Somerville, PhD, MSW
An experienced executive, educator and administrator with a demonstrated history of advocacy for social justice, Somerville’s career has been devoted to the nonprofit and higher education industries. She was most recently responsible for sponsored programs, research services and human research protections at Roosevelt University and an adjunct member of the Psychology department at DePaul University.
In addition, she maintained a consulting practice providing support for grant administration, organizational development and diversity, equity and inclusion training. Somerville received her PhD in community psychology from National Louis University, her Master of Social Work from Boston University and her undergraduate degrees from University of California, Santa Cruz.
Bobbie Carlton is the founder of Carlton PR and Marketing.
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