Since her first job in an emergency room, Barbara Hawes, PhD, DRCC, has been interested in working with mental health disorders. She first earned a Bachelor of Arts with a double major in philosophy and psychology from Roanoke College in 1977 before completing coursework in deaf education from the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia. Subsequently joining Virginia Commonwealth University, Dr. Hawes worked as a mental health crisis counselor and clinical instructor at the university hospital while pursuing her master’s degree in counseling psychology.
From 1993 to 1998, Dr. Hawes served as a senior counselor for Vesta, Inc., where she helped to develop the first community crisis beds in their area of Maryland. Rising to become the director of crisis prevention and stabilization services, she was notably able to expand their department to provide services in the adjacent counties. Seeking to continue her work in crisis response, she held the role of deputy director of the Crisis Response System of Maryland for the Affiliated Santé Group from 2000 to 2003. During this time, Dr. Hawes and her teams oversaw responses to a number of disasters and crises in Anne Arundel and Prince George’s counties.
After serving as the director of Resources for Human Development in Philadelphia from 2003 to 2004, Dr. Hawes transitioned to working as an independent disaster response consultant from 2004 to 2012. She has remained independent and today serves as a disaster response counselor, benefits counselor, and insurance agent. In 2014, she capped off her expertise by obtaining a Doctor of Philosophy in clinical psychology from Charisma University, cementing herself as an expert in helping people in a range of emotional, psychological and humanitarian realms. One of Dr. Hawes’ more recent endeavors was volunteering as a disaster response counselor for Vesta, Inc.’s COVID-19 hotline from March to May of 2020.
Attributing much of her success to her drive and focus, Dr. Hawes also credits the upbringing she had as well as her education and her decades of experience. She is incredibly proud of the work she has done to help others, particularly when it comes to financial struggles, and has been recognized for her achievements with numerous awards for crisis efforts from the Mental Health Association. Continually motivated by her desire to keep learning and remain up to date on new developments in her field, she maintains professional affiliation with Rotary International and the American Psychiatric Nurses Association. As she looks toward the future, Dr. Hawes plans on writing two books, one on caring for aging parents and another more lighthearted and whimsical.