One Social Worker Aids Anxiety in Frontline Workers
By Shavantay Minnis
Licensed clinical social worker Camille Burke said she knew that helping others with mental health struggles was her passion. But she said she struggled with finding a path to turn her passion into a full-time reality.
That is, until 2018, when she was introduced to George Gadson, business assistant with the Florida Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Florida Atlantic University (FAU). Gadson showed her how to launch CFB Solutions Inc., a medical counseling practice.
“I knew helping those living with a mental illness was my calling when I was 10 and my babysitter would tell me all of her problems,” she said. “Listening to others came naturally afterward and now I truly enjoy working with anyone from the womb to the tomb.”
In 2005, Burke earned her bachelor’s degree in social work from Nova Southeastern University and in 2008, her master’s degree in social work from Barry University.
“I wanted college to be my backup plan, but I realized in order to have the business that I wanted, so I could help those in my community and beyond, I needed to start with college,” she said.
Once she earned her first degree, she quickly began building her career as a therapist and social worker, working with women in low-income cities, mothers in the maternal health department, the disabled elderly in assisted living facilities, teens in foster care and military veterans for the state of Florida.
Burke attempted to start her business, CFB Solutions Inc. in Lauderhill, Fla., in 2012 but could only work for herself part-time until she met Gadson from the Florida SBDC at FAU, a business consultant working with creative economy entrepreneurs and nonprofit organizations.
Gadson gave her the business plan and the help she needed to operate CFB Solutions on her own full-time. He provided tips and resources for her to network her services. “Since working with George and the SBDC at FAU, I am more confident in my business,” Burke said. “He taught me how to be strategic, adaptable and how to develop a niche that lets me help people from all walks of life.”
When the COVID-19 pandemic took off, her business flourished when many others did not. That’s because she pivoted her services online, offering therapy to many frontline workers, like nurses and police officers and other frontline workers.
“I would hear stories about anxiety, fear and even nightmares from the multiple codes throughout the hospital COVID unit or stories where families were unable to say goodbye to a lost loved one,” Burke said. “Frontline workers often have no other person to talk about what they experience, which makes me grateful that I could keep my business open at a time when the world was reduced to help those who had no one else to turn to.”