Region Ten Staff Profile: Chris Martsolf
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May 30, 2024

Region Ten Staff Profile: Chris Martsolf

Every month Region Ten provides a profile of our staff members during commemorative months so that the community has a sense of the unique backgrounds and stories our staff bring to the people we serve. 

Name and Position at Region Ten: Chris Marsolf, Clinician at Blue Ridge Center.

Where are you from? I was born and raised in Charlottesville, Virginia.

What drew you to the behavioral health field? Behavioral health issues have always been deeply important to me, and I would consider myself both a peer and young professional. I was raised by a single mom and a grandmother who both struggled with their mental health, and I remember times growing up when I witnessed their panic, anxiety, and depression. I have also personally struggled with my own mental health, and have worked hard to manage my anxiety and depression while trying to make sense of my own trauma and lived experience. I saw a therapist for the first time going into my second year in college and this was a big deal for me. I was able to gain coping skills while also tapping into the curiosity I had surrounding the question of “Why do people do what they do?” From then on, I dedicated my academic and professional career to this field in the hope of giving back to others.

What are some of the highlights over your professional career? Even though I knew I wanted to get into the field once I graduated college, I felt a little lost on where to begin. I researched and looked into agencies around the area that were specific to my degree and this field, and I found an open position for Adult Mental Health Case Manager with Region Ten and decided to apply. I was given a chance and that position, while demanding, solidified my passion for the field and jumpstarted my career. Another highlight has been recently finishing up my degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling! It was a long journey and I carry a lot of pride knowing I didn’t give up through all the ups and downs. Both my mom and grandmother passed while I was working on my degree and it doesn’t feel the same without them, but I pushed through and I know how proud they would be for me. While I’ve done this for myself, I am also dedicating this milestone in their honor.

What do you enjoy about your work at Region Ten? I really enjoy getting to know the people we serve and directly contributing to their healing in the community I call home. I have seen many times people getting placed into boxes when it comes to their mental or behavioral health. One of the greatest gifts has been being able to meet and see people beyond their illnesses and struggles. I have met phenomenal writers, talented artists, and hard-working professionals who are also mothers, fathers, siblings, and friends. Being able to give back to others has been one of my biggest honors and joys.

What does Pride Month mean to you? Pride Month is about loving myself and others unconditionally, even on my hardest days. Pride Month is also about celebrating how far our community has come in gaining equal rights, while acknowledging how much more work still has to be done on a societal and structural level. Pride Month is honoring those who came before me in advocating for LGBTQ+ rights, and continuing that fight while leaving a better future behind for those who will come after us. Pride Month has been instrumental in helping me gain confidence in expressing my sexuality outwardly and openly. Hiding in the closet can be detrimental to someone wanting to be their authentic self and Pride Month has been a source of support in being able to do this. I am thankful to have this platform and hope to encourage others who may be struggling know that they are loved. Lastly, Pride Month is a wonderful reminder to show gratitude and appreciation to my wonderful partner, Vince, who has always been there for me.

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