Sharon Berry

Sharon Berry

 Sharon Berry, a clinical psychologist specializing in child and pediatric services for more than 20 years, has provided extraordinary leadership and contributions to the field of children’s mental health. Her current work is with Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota (Children’s), providing direct psychological services to children, adolescents, and their families.  Sharon has served as the Director of Training for Children’s psychology internship, a well-respected program accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA).

Under Sharon’s able leadership, Children’s plays a pivotal role in both the local mental health system and in training the next generation of child and pediatric psychologists helping to create a number of community links for Children’s and for its interns. Many of the program’s graduates have remained in Minnesota where they continue to provide expert services for children, teens, and their families.

This year, Sharon completed her term as Chair of the Board of Directors for the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC) where she continues an active role. APPIC is an international organization facilitating the development of new psychology internship programs and optimizing the operations and functionality of existing programs in North America. During her tenure APPIC launched an online application making the process more cost-effective and efficient for the nearly 4,000 graduate students who apply for internships, including those seeking to specialize in their work with children and adolescents.

Sharon provides exemplary advocacy for the field of Psychology and related mental health disciplines at both state and national levels. She serves as the Advocacy Coordinator for APA and APPIC, and as the Midwest regional coordinator she developed a grassroots network of psychologists who petition Congress throughout the year on the issues of addressing mental health needs. She also advocates for federal monies to support the education and training of psychologists. She goes to the U.S. Capitol annually to lobby on mental health issues; visiting the offices of several members of Minnesota’s U.S. House and Senate delegation to lobby for funding for mental health services. In recognition of her tireless energies in these areas, she was the first recipient of the APA’s Education Advocacy Distinguished Service Award in 2003.

Sharon remains highly accessible and responsive while supervising other psychologists and trainees and also maintains a busy clinical practice. Sharon serves as a mentor to countless students and early career professionals across the country interested in child mental health issues. She developed a mentoring project for undergraduates from diverse and multicultural backgrounds in order to build an infrastructure for nurturing diversity in Psychology and setting the stage for increasing the diversity of students participating in the Minnesota internships accredited by the APA. Her work also includes, creating and continuing to coordinate a national mentoring program that connects students and postdoctoral fellows as well as early career professionals with more senior mentors across the nation. The program is designed to encourage students’ interest in children’s mental health and to help students prepare to become pediatric psychologists.

A colleague reported that, “I am exceedingly pleased to work with Sharon. I personally value her collegiality, creativity, dedication, selflessness, as well as her boundless energy and passion for her work. When we discuss issues of education, her insights are penetrating and her determination to promote excellence in all aspects of education is extraordinary. I am one of many professionals who look to her for wise counsel and for timely updates on an array of issues and challenges related to children’s mental health and psychology training. Despite her many accomplishments, she approaches her work humbly and with great respect for others.”

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