Meet the Behavioral Health Crisis Support Team

BHCST Leadership

Jennifer Howes, Ph.D.

Chief Mental Health Director, Student Health and Well-Being

Prior to joining JHU, she served as Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and Wellness at the California Institute of Technology. She is a licensed clinical psychologist with experience working in a range of clinical settings, including the Los Angeles County jail system, community mental health, private practice, and higher education. Her clinical interests include suicide prevention, developing systems of care based in equity and inclusion, and innovative approaches to mental health intervention through interdisciplinary practice. Jennifer earned her BA from UCLA and a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology at AIU. Dr. Howes is thrilled to be living in Baltimore and is getting to know many of its neighborhoods and the varied cultural landscapes.

Jarron Jackson

Assistant Vice President for JHU Public Safety

Prior to joining JHU, Mr. Jackson served as captain for the Baltimore Police Department, crisis/hostage negotiator, executive officer of the Southeastern district, and safety supervisor (sergeant) at the public safety education and training academy. He leads the Public Safety component of the Behavioral Health Crisis Support Team. Mr. Jackson holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and a certificate in leadership and management from the University of Maryland Global Campus, and is pursuing his graduate degree, focusing on Public Safety and Law Enforcement Leadership at the University of San Diego. His favorite thing about Baltimore is the variety of cultural experiences that one is able to have simply by traveling from neighborhood to neighborhood. 

BHCST Clinical Staff

Frances Callahan, LCSW-C

Clinical Manager, BHCST

Frances has provided mental health services and consultation to faculty, staff, and students at Johns Hopkins since 2010 and has managed the BHCST’s day-to-day operations since 2021. The positive impact the BHCST is having on Johns Hopkins’ students, faculty, staff, and our neighbors inspires Frances, and she is grateful to have had a key role in the team’s formation and early life. Formerly an English teacher and yoga instructor, Frances appreciates that her career as a clinical social worker in Student Mental Health allows her to help people tell their stories, create meaning, and find their footing.

Kim Sutter, LCPC

Lead BHCST Clinician

Kim (she/her/hers) has worked as a Mobile Crisis counselor in Maryland for two decades, has taught crisis intervention skills in law enforcement academies, has taught in the psychology department at College of Notre Dame and once had a mental health advice column in a local paper called “Well-Advised!” and loves coming alongside people and helping them figure out their best response to what they are facing.

JaAlah-Ai Heughan, LCPC (MD), LCP (DC)

BHCST Clinician

JaAlah-Ai (she/her/hers) offers a therapeutic approach grounded in culturally affirming Cognitive Behavioral Therapies and Mindfulness-Based practices. A Baltimore City native, JaAlah-Ai seeks opportunities to provide equitable mental health treatment and care. JaAlah-Ai has worked in mental health in a variety of treatment settings from outpatient mental health clinics (OMHC), community-based mental health, to running her own private practice. Additionally, she has provided senior-level oversight managing scientific implementation of qualitative research at Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health, in her former role as a research program manager. JaAlah-Ai received her MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from The Johns Hopkins University and is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) in the state of Maryland and a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in the District of Columbia.

Michole Bledzki, LCSW-C

BHCST Clinician

Michole (she/her/hers) obtained her master’s in social work from University of Maryland, Baltimore with an emphasis in Community Mental Health.  She has worked for the past 20 years providing crisis services on community based mobile crisis teams.  In addition to her clinical and management work in crisis, she has also provided medical case management services to medically fragile children and their families. She has worked with persons with serious mental illness, and persons with intellectual disabilities.  She is passionate about helping others and supporting them to reach their goals. When not working she enjoys spending time with her family, cooking, listening to music, and playing an occasional game of Bingo.

Amanda Menke, LCSW-C

BHCST Clinician

Amanda (she/her/hers) joined the team in January 2022 during the pilot phase of the BHCST.  Amanda is a licensed Clinical Social Worker and Licensed Clinical Supervisor in Maryland and Washington, D.C. Amanda graduated from Towson University in 2012 with a B.A. in International Studies and Political Science. Her undergraduate experience led her to serve on an international level in the Peace Corps in Rwanda specializing in English language teaching and community expansion work. Upon return to the United States, Amanda attended University of Maryland Baltimore School of Social Work and graduated with her MSW in 2018. In her social work career, Amanda has worked in a wide range of clinical settings including government agencies, healthcare organizations, residential treatment centers, outpatient and group practices, CASA of Baltimore City and for the Office of the Public Defender. Amanda is a long-time resident of Baltimore and feels incredibly passionate about living and working in the city that she loves.

Erica Thornton, LMSW

BHCST Clinician

Born and raised in Baltimore, Erica (she/her/hers) earned her master’s degree in social work from the University of Maryland, Baltimore. Prior to joining the BHCST in January 2022, she was a foster care social worker, working with teenagers right before they aged out of care. Erica is passionate about working with students and likes to take an approach rooted in cultural humility. She takes an integrative approach to her work and loves to highlight a person’s strengths. Erica strives to provide a safe space for students so that they can feel comfortable being themselves and learn new skills to overcome challenges. She is grateful that her work is able to positively impact students.

Michala Williams, LMSW

BHCST Clinician

Michala (she/her/hers) joined the Johns Hopkins Behavioral Health Crisis Support Team (BHCST) during the pilot year, in March 2022. She earned her master’s degree in social work from Fordham University, and her bachelor’s degree in music, with a focus in Classical Voice, from Wagner College. Prior to joining BHCST, Michala worked in various settings including, hospital emergency departments, a community college, as well as case management within healthcare systems. Michala is passionate about working with students, specifically those within the BIPOC community. She feels her personal background directly impacts her work with clients. Michala hopes to continue to break down barriers for those that are hesitant to seek mental health treatment by providing emotionally safe and culturally competent interventions during crisis.

Philip Goldberg, LMSW

BHCST Clinician

Phil (he/him/his) has a master’s degree in social work from University of Maryland School of Social Work and is dually licensed in Maryland and Washington, DC. Phil has over five years of experience providing direct crisis lifeline counseling to individuals in crisis on both a local and national scale. Phil has also served victims of life-threatening violence at University at Maryland Shock Trauma and victims of adverse childhood experiences as a case manager in Baltimore City at Baltimore Child Abuse Center. Phil is passionate about providing informed, effective, and compassionate care to members of the LGBTQ+ community. Phil’s personal and professional experience lend a diverse and intersectional lens to his current work as a Behavioral Health Crisis Support clinician at Johns Hopkins University.

Public Safety Staff

Captain Rex Snider

Acting Sr. Director for Public Safety

Captain Snider has been a member of the Johns Hopkins Public Safety Department since 2017. Prior to joining the JHPSD, he served as the Training Administrator for the Anne Arundel County Sheriff’s Office, and he is retired from the Anne Arundel County Police Department. He has a background in law enforcement training and criminal investigations, and he currently leads the Public Safety Department’s Administrative Division, which includes managing the Crisis Intervention Training program. As a lifelong resident of the Baltimore area, his favorite things are the hometown sports teams and festivals, as well as the authenticity of the various cultures within the city’s communities.