Martha Olsen was one of four co-founders when The Mental Health Collective, the original name of Watercourse Counseling Center, began in August of 1999. Previous to her involvement with Watercourse, Martha was the Program Director for the Counseling Clinic at Neighborhood Involvement Program (NIP), having worked there for 13 years as an intake coordinator, clinician, and supervisor, prior to taking over administrative responsibilities for the program. She has her Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from the University of St. Thomas and completed the Marriage and Family Therapy certificate as part of her studies in that program.
Martha has worked primarily in agencies that embrace community mental health models and approaches that work through a systems lens. She participated as one of the original agencies working with Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) to develop the school-based mental health model that is currently being used at MPS and more broadly in Hennepin County. She also has a strong interest in the perspectives of different cultures, having studied world religions in college, lived abroad, and studied several languages. She enjoys the challenge of developing programs to meet emerging needs in the community and believes that we can work more effectively through collaboration across agencies. She is committed to exploring ways that Watercourse can support a more equitable community.
Current interests outside of work include outdoor activities on the North Shore and other places ‘north’, involvement in cultural organizations and activities, involvement in the arts (dabbling in folk dancing, choir, watercolor, and wood carving), and enjoying time with family in Montana and on the East Coast.