Valerie St. John is happily married to her husband of 10 years, and together they have two children, ages 7 and 4. She is an artist, athlete, counselor, musician, and advocate for mental health.
Valerie is a State of Washington Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Owner/Operator of Valerie St. John Counseling, a private practice of 9 years. Her practice focus areas are Posttraumatic Stress Disorder/trauma, eating disorders, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, self-harm, perfectionism, depression and anxiety. Valerie is grateful to be a partner on her patients’ journeys through self-discovery, in particular helping them enhance self-worth and addressing mental wellness holistically. She holds a Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling from Capella University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology with Psychology Minor from Washington State University. Previous work experience includes college-level instruction and advising, personal training, and nutritional consulting.
Through Valerie’s platform, “Mental Wellness B4Stage4,” she provides education and support about prevention, early detection, and intervention of mental health symptoms before they reach a critical “Stage 4” point. After a long history of witnessing family members struggle and suffer from untreated mental health conditions, and in particular losing multiple loved ones to substance abuse and suicide, Valerie realized that the practice of mental health was her calling. Her losses have shaped her and fueled her passion and life’s mission to help and guide others. She transformed her struggles into positive energy and became a counselor and mental health advocate. She has shared her message as a regular volunteer Mental Wellness Support Group Facilitator with at-risk, homeless youth, as well as in speaking engagements and leadership events throughout Washington State. She frequently volunteers as a suicide and substance abuse crisis interventionist for those in recovery. She is active within Mental Health America, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Perinatal Support of Washington, Kitsap Strong, and other local and state-wide advocacy and awareness causes. Her work allows invaluable opportunity to make connections and provide information to help people identify symptoms, recover quickly, and live full, healthy, productive lives.
There is a strong link between her platform of mental health and the Mrs. America/American national platform Victoria’s Voice, which aims to save our future generations from substance abuse and overdose. Substance Use Disorder is in and of itself a mental health condition. It is critical that we address mental health as a primary, key factor in our efforts to contain and respond to the drug and alcohol epidemic which currently plagues our country. Valerie believes that by detecting and treating mental health symptoms proactively, beginning with prevention, we can reduce the use of substances as a coping mechanism. Further, giving an equal emphasis of mental health as part of a treatment program can help ensure successful recovery.
Additional volunteer projects Valerie has been involved with include: Children’s Miracle Network, Kidzz Helping Kidzz annual toy drive, Habitat for Humanity, local pageant judge and volunteer, Salvation Army, Jed Foundation, and others.
Some interesting tidbits:
· Valerie loves neuroscience and goofy jokes
· She is an aerial acrobat, focusing on silk fabrics performance. She needs to be convinced everyday not to runaway with the circus. J
· She is an avid chess player who has never won a game against her dad!
· Favorite quote: “Always leave the campsite better than how you found it.” -Jerry St. John
Valerie St. John is the first in history to be crowned as Mrs. Washington American. She enjoys fostering a community of support and mentorship by empowering and inspiring others to live their best lives through her own example and perseverance. She is grateful for this opportunity through the Mrs. Washington and Mrs. American programs to allow her to follow her dreams and connect with so many inspirational women and community leaders.