For former college basketball player Randy Lee Wilson, communication is an easy two points. At his job with National Counseling Group, a provider of mental health services around the state, Wilson travels central Virginia exploring gaps in such treatment, working from the statehouse to grass-roots efforts.
“The main thing is just awareness and giving people resources,” Wilson says, adding that he also provides training for different agencies. “My main role is to be out there in the community.”
His daily collaborations usually involve assisted-living facilities, Henrico County and Richmond court service units and numerous community service boards while figuring out how to provide free mental health services to a public very much in need. During the past three years, Wilson has helped his company grow 60 percent a year; it now works with about 15,000 families.
Wilson says that it's difficult these days for people to get mental health help through the public system, especially with constant budget cuts in a tough economy. “It's an area where we can't afford more cuts,” he says. “You'll have that many more people locked up who really need help.”
Wilson credits his service-oriented mindset to growing up in North Carolina in the Boys and Girls Club, a charity for which he volunteers today. After playing basketball at Emory and Henry College, he came to Richmond to attend grad school at Virginia State.
“My mother was the most inspirational person in my life,” he says. “But basketball was good for instilling discipline and helping me get focused.”
Wilson serves as a board member with the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program for Senior Connections, the Capital Area Agency on Aging, and is involved with the Urban League of Greater Richmond and Young Professionals service.