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Meet the Miracle Makers: Teen Xpress Mental Health Counselor, Gemima

Gemima McMahon is one of the newest team members to join the Teen Xpress program, providing individual, group, and family counseling as well as mental health assessments.

Teen Xpress is one of six programs offered through The Howard Phillips Center for Children & Families, part of Orlando Health Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children, which provides services to some of the most-at risk children in Central Florida each year. Teen Xpress provides children ages 11-19, located in high poverty areas, with free healthcare services through a mobile unit that travels to middle and high schools.

Gemima assists teens dealing with depression, anxiety, trauma, abuse issues, domestic violence and self injurious behaviors. Here, she answers some questions to get to know more about her.

Tell us more about your role as a mental health counselor:
As a licensed mental health therapist, I provide individual and group counseling sessions for middle and high school students. I work with teenagers on multiple topics like self-esteem, stress management, anxiety, depression, and peer and/ or family relationship issues. I provide diagnosis, treatment plans, and work with the case managers on staff to provide additional resources to patients when necessary.

What is unique about your role at Orlando Health?
A unique aspect about my role is that I get to see patients at school. It’s convenient for both the patients and their families. I can meet with them on the mobile unit. I also get to work alongside the nurse practitioner, and dietitian to provide complete and comprehensive services to the community.

What is your favorite part about your role with Teen Xpress?
My favorite part about my role with Teen Xpress is getting to work with teenagers and be a support to them. I love working with this population.

What is your biggest challenge?
Working with patients who sometimes are not ready for change or are resistant to receiving help.

What three words would you use to describe yourself?

  1. Kind
  2. Generous
  3. Genuine

Name your favorite:

  • App – Audible (Recently got into listening to books)
  • Book – Jane Eyre
  • City to Visit – New York City
  • Color – Orange
  • Food – Sushi
  • Guilty Pleasure – Reality TV
  • Hobby – Crossfit
  • Quote – “Life appears to me too short to be spent in nursing animosity or registering wrongs”
  • Weekend Activity – I love going out to eat, spending time outdoors and quality time with family and friends.

What was your very first job?
I worked as a receptionist at an eye clinic.

If you weren’t a Mental Health Counselor, what would you be?
There are two options – a realistic one and a not realistic one. I would love to be a medical doctor, specifically a gastroenterologist. Then the not so realistic option would be to be an actor.