The link between healthy financial habits and mental health
Dr. Ashley Lowe-Simmons, LCSW-C, FSW is a God-fearing wife, mother and servant leader. Dr. Ashley has accomplished a lot in her personal and professional life, but none of her accomplishments have been obtained with ease. She sees her life as a boxing match, round after round she has been presented with numerous challenges, but when the bell goes off, she takes a breather and gets back in the ring for the next round. You name it, she has probably endured and persevered through it! She is a testament of operating in faith and an example of God's favor. Dr. Ashley’s greatest challenge was being a Black, single mother; during this part of her life she became extremely passionate about single mothers, particularly those of Black and Hispanic descent. Being a single mother was not easy and it is even more challenging if the single mother belongs to a certain cultural demographic. Dr. Ashley's life mission is to assist Black and Hispanic families headed by single mothers with the right resources, support and education to accomplish the goals and aspirations for their families.
Dr. Ashley has been able to birth multiple businesses, all focused on the things that she is most passionate about, she calls it her three M's (moms, money and mental health).
Q. What was the inspiration behind starting Conversations with a Clinician?
Conversations With A Clinician was birthed from me allowing myself to just “BE”. It is not uncommon that we get so caught up in the hustle and flow of life that it is generally, DO….DO….DO and when you have a family like mine, it’s WANT, WANT, WANT or I NEED this or that and we hardly ever take moments to just BE. So about two months into the pandemic, I started practicing something called “Skin to Skin” where I would lay in silence and listen to worship music. My goal was to quite myself so that I could grow closer to God and hear his voice more clearly. God isn’t loud and obnoxious, God is gentle, loving and quite. After one of my intimate moments with God and this is what happened. I opened my eyes and heard..
ME: What are you talking about, I’m a clinician and I talk for a living
ME: Okay, I know I’m a clinician
GOD: Exactly, have conversations with my people about mental health and life
ME: Oh okay, I can do that God
So after that encounter which was at the end of April 2020, my interpretation was that God wanted me to talk to his people in May because it is Mental Health Awareness month. Perfect, right? Sike, God tricked me, I planned journaling events, exercise events and weekly, I interviewed two individuals on my facebook page about mental health and another topic pertaining to life. I thought that was it, my job was complete but then I received an abundance of interest in what I had done and there were requests for another show. I was in a doctoral program and wasn’t particularly interested in any more responsibility, as I was about to get married, relocate, gain bonus children and get dogs. That was enough! So I went on about life and then God kept nudging me, giving me idea after idea and so I rolled my eyes and went after my passion of educating people about mental health. In Dec 2021, Conversations With A Clinician became an actual private practice, so here we are.
Leading with Lee
Leading with Lee
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Leading with Lee
Q. Do you think that mental awareness should be taken seriously in urban communities? Why?
Without any doubt, in urban communities we have been born and birthed into trauma and that trauma stretches back to slavery times. That trauma transfers down generational lines and we need to understand the brain and body’s response to trauma. Trauma is a form of stress and stress will kill you if you do not have the right tools to fight back. I call myself the “Toolbox Therapist” because I want people to have the right tools to do this thing called life. It’s hard but we have the ability to choose our hard.
Q. You are the founder of three businesses. Which business came first and how long have you operated it before you opened the second and third companies?
The first business is Momz OnA Mission Inc. (MOMI) which is a 501c3 that works with single mother-headed families from urban communities. MOMI is founded on three tower 1)Mentorship 2) Financial Empowerment 3)Exposure Opportunities-Career & Travel. MOMI was founded in 2019.
Ashley Lowe LLC which Conversations with a Clinician operates under, Ashley Lowe LLC started in August 2020. The third business is Savvy Accommodations LLC. which just started this year and its a partnership with my amazing husband, Antwan. Our goal is to provide our four children with the opportunities that we didn’t have access to.
Q. How do you manage to be a businesswoman, wife, and mom?
Honestly, it is not easy, it is extremely hard, but as I stated earlier, we have to choose our hard. I am intentional in everything that I do. Businesswoman, I meet with my manager to help me organize my creative ideas and she adds people to the team as she sees fit. I meet with my therapist regularly and my calendar is my life, if it isn’t on the calendar then it doesn’t get done.
This “wife life” is an adjustment, I was single longer than I’ve been married, so I pray with my husband daily, I speak into his life, I pray over him when he is sleeping. I keep him happy in the streets and in the sheets. We also plan date nights and sprinkle in moments of individual time randomly.
I have been a mom for what feels like my entire life so it comes pretty natural, I know how to take care of people. Before, I was married my daughter, Nyla and I, started Mommy and Me Mondays, so she chooses what we will do and it’s just me and her. When I became a bonus mom she was not excited to share me, but I talk with her about everything, so it was important for me to let her know that she still has access and it helps that she has a younger bonus brother that she gets along with most of the time.
Q. What does success mean to you?
Success varies and I’ll even stretch to say that it evolves over time. Success for me currently is having an intimate relationship with God, a healthy and happy blended family, serving my clients and team to the best of my ability, traveling frequently and ensuring that my finances are flourishing.
Q. What do you like to do in your spare time?
I love to sleep, read, learn: I’m lowkey addicted to knowledge, and traveling. When I travel, I push myself to try different foods and do different things. Exposure is important to me, so I try to expose myself in the healthiest ways possible.
Q. What advice can you give to those who are skeptical about having a conversation on mental health?
I love analogies, so I’ll give you an analogy.
Mental health is just like physical health, if your mind isn’t right nothing else will be right. At some point you have to get sick and tired of being sick and tired and only you have the ability to change your situation. If you don’t know how to make a change, I have a secret for you. Come here, come a little closer, YOU HAVE ACCESS TO THE WORLD AT YOUR FINGERTIPS, Google it. Help is available, if you want help. We can be strong but we can be so much stronger as a team, go get somebody on your team that is going to get in the boxing ring with you. Life is a fight but you don’t have to fight alone, you only have to make the decision that you want to fight. Your life is the outcome of the choices that you make, no one is going to force you, if you want something go get it. If you don’t then that’s your business like Auntie Tabitha Brown says; don’t you go ruining somebody else's day.
PR: Lamore Lifestyle Public Relations
Date: August 1, 2022