Jessica Okkerse, LMSW is a licensed clinical and macro social worker in Michigan. Jessica holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and music from Creighton University and a master’s in social work from the University of Michigan. She has more than 17 years of experience in mental health, school work, community engagement and organizational leadership.
Jessica is currently the school counselor at Lansing Christian School in Lansing, MI. She coordinates school wide mental health and personal wellbeing programming alongside the faculty and administrators. She provides small group and individual sessions with identified students based on their social and emotional needs.
Jessica spent time as a field liaison with Michigan State University’s MSW program. In this role she oversaw student internships with local agencies, facilitated seminar meetings and assisted with student educational progress towards professional field work. As a liaison and professional instructor, Jessica trained other social workers and educators in areas of suicide prevention, substance use prevention, community assessment and planning, and other evidence-based practices. Jessica has been trained as a trainer for two suicide prevention programs: SOS Signs of Suicide Prevention and ASIST.
Prior to her current work, Jessica oversaw at-risk and substance abuse prevention services in 14 communities and school districts in Michigan’s Out-Wayne county. This work included research, program development, revenue acquisition, strategic planning, data collection, staff supervision and program review. These programs provided social emotional skill development, community service work, connections to mental health services and family skill building. She is trained in implementing evidence-based programs and best practices including Botvin Lifeskills, CASA Start, CMCA and Aggression Replacement Training. During this time Jessica was a Certified Prevention Specialist in Michigan. Jessica built collaborative relationships with community stakeholders to create the SUDDs coalition for community youth substance abuse prevention, and obtained local and state funding, and federal SAMHSA dollars for these programs. Additionally she has experience as a child and adolescent mental health therapist and adult substance abuse therapist. She is trained in CBT, DBT, motivational interviewing, play therapy, mindfulness, behavior interventions, attachment theories, and emotion code: how our bodies physically hold and express our emotions.
Jessica employs a personal faith-based foundation and strengths-based perspective. She believes that all clients are uniquely created with a purpose from God. She creates a safe, empowering environment, grounded in dignity and respect where clients can fully express their thoughts, feelings and needs. She guides clients through their healing process as they build on their strengths and deepen their understanding of their own personal value.