Rodney Long Jr.

Rodney is a mental health therapist with a private practice in Ohio.

“Hello, I’m looking for a black therapist. I saw your profile. I’m looking for a black guy, I need someone who can relate to me.”

Rodney Long Jr., MSSA, LISW-S, has lost track of how many times this voice message, or something similar, has been left on his work phone.

Rodney is a mental health therapist with a private practice in Ohio. He’s also biracial, and feels that is wholly irrelevant to the way he approaches his work.

“I grew up in poverty with parents in addiction. I work with black doctors, lawyers, and teachers. A lot of times, our backgrounds don’t relate over anything except our skin color.”

In Ohio, the pressure to define and divide people based on race is coming from the top. The Counselor, Social Worker, and Marriage & Family Therapist Board — which oversees critical parts of the behavioral health field in Ohio — uses discriminatory practices to select who is eligible to join the Board. Specifically, it prioritizes race over levels of expertise.

Rodney feels this is dangerous. He’s relieved nobody told him he was a “victim” when he was a young man because he may not have worked to overcome his difficult childhood and build the life he has today.

Rodney’s story deserves more space than an email can provide, so you can read the rest of his story, and learn why he’s so passionate about Do No Harm’s mission here.

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