A respected professional in the psychological and counseling space, Candace Tompkins, MA, LMHC, has proven her skills as the director of psychological services for the Agency for Persons with Disabilities. Since 2019, she has focused her efforts on helping to prepare people with intellectual disabilities and aid them in attaining success in their respective communities. Likewise, she works on a multidisciplinary team to meet the needs of the residents of the facility and bring awareness to society.
Ms. Tompkins specializes in working with adults with severe and persistent mental illness in an inpatient or residential setting and seeks to bring about a greater awareness of mental illness and work against the negative stigma surrounding mental health issues. She pursued her career out of the understanding that anyone can be a victim of mental illness, just as anyone can be diagnosed with a physical disease. She prides herself on her ability to operate with compassion and kindness, promoting happiness, kindness, peace and love in her work. Furthermore, she is an active member of the American Psychological Association and the National Counselor Association.
Ms. Tompkins builds off earlier experiences as a mental health professional at the Northwest Florida Reception Center Annex from 2016 to 2019 and as a clinical counselor for the Children’s Home Society of Florida in 2016. She has also worked at the University of West Florida, the Lakeview Center and the Sunland Center at Marianna, as well as at the West Corporation as an operations supervisor. She gained her initial experience in her field as an intern for the West Florida Community Care Center. Outside of her primary work, Ms. Tompkins has also been an independent sales representative for Avon and a consultant to Innov8tive + Posh.
To prepare for her career, Ms. Tompkins earned an associate degree from Gulf Coast State College in 2007 and a bachelor’s degree from the University of West Florida in 2009 as part of the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program. A few years later, in 2013, she attained a Master of Arts in psychology, summa cum laude, from the University of West Florida. Ms. Tompkins recalls her interest in psychology came from her participation in an introduction to psychology class in high school. She learned that the things she was feeling and going through were normal and that she was not alone in her own mental health journey.
In a fulfilling career, Ms. Tompkins made sure to pay it forward once she became a qualified supervisor by providing free licensure supervision to other mental health interns. She recounts another accomplishment for her was creating numerous official forms and documents for referrals, group descriptions and curriculums. Ms. Tompkins credits much of her professional success to her mother, as she frequently discussed the importance of education. With the support of her mother, who she describes as her rock, she was the first person in their family to attend and graduate college.
Entirely dedicated to helping others through her work, Ms. Tompkins intends to remain in her line of work for many years to come. In addition, she would like to provide licensure supervision to social work interns, along with licensed clinical social workers and licensed mental health counselors. In her spare time, Ms. Tompkins enjoys going for walks, swimming, decorating and spending time with family, including her son, Ian.