Founder and Executive Director
Peer Recovery Supporter | Educational Paraprofessional | Sources of Strength Trainer | Mental Health Recovery Coach | Suicide Prevention Trainer | AFSP Suicide Bereavement Clinician
Denise Holcomb is the Founder and Executive Director of Removing The Stigma (RTS). She combines peer support, coaching, training, and biblical teaching as she works with individuals to discover their true passion and purpose. She assists peers in understanding that they are not identified by a mental illness or substance use diagnosis, but they are individuals with an illness like any illness, and they too can live a meaningfully productive life if they remove self-stigma and work toward living their true purpose.
Denise also helps individuals whose loved ones have died by suicide to walkthrough
the stages of grief and find a way to remember their loved ones in a unique and meaningful way.
As peers, we have walked some of the same paths, and we realize all of our journeys are different.
MEET OUR LEADERS
Darcella has over fifteen years of experience working with traumatized youth in both residential and outpatient settings. She has mothered three children with mental health disorders, all while going through her own personal struggles with mental illness. These personal and family experiences helped her to understand the mental health challenges and the level of extreme stress and pressure that is placed on caregivers, individuals, and families.
Mental Health & Suicide Prevention Advocate
Margaret worked at Case Western Reserve University for over a period of thirty-two years. She resigned to focus and care for her two adopted children who were both mentally challenged. She highlights raising her two sons as one of the most purposeful and fulfilling time periods in her life. Now that her children have grown up, Margaret enjoys other fulfilling avenues such as event planning, with a specialty in wedding planning, consulting, and directing.
Committee Board Member
Ariana Is an advocate for mental health, social justice, and advocacy amongst the black community, specifically black children. Ariana has a bachelor's degree in Journalism and Promotional Communications, and currently earning her Master's in Social Service Administration. She holds certificates in Nonprofit Marketing and Mental Health First Aid and is a licensed Chemical Dependency Counseling Assistant. She is employed at The Northern Ohio Recovery Association and serves as the Youth Administrator at her local church. Ariana is affiliated with, The Black Children Development Institute Cleveland Affiliate, The Cleveland NAACP, The National Coalition of 100 Black Women Greater Cleveland Chapter, and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated. She is the Founder of The Black Diamonds and Pearls Foundation in Cleveland Ohio.
Aissatou Diop is a senior at John Carroll University. She is employed at Bellefaire Jewish Center for Children with Autism as a youth counselor. She has worked in the behavioral and mental health field as a caretaker and counselor and has worked on projects throughout the years which address breaking stigmas surrounding mental health issues. She is looking forward to her internship with Removing the Stigma and believes it will allow me to gain the experience and knowledge she needs to start working toward achieving her goals as well as help bridge the gap between people living with mental health issues and families.