Clinical Care ManagerVirginia“I’m there to answer questions, I’m there to coach, I’m there to educate, and I’m there to help families shore up their energy and strength so they can do the hard thing. I let families know that I’m their advocate.”
Arlene Krohmal has more than 20 years of experience in human services, government and nonprofit management, child welfare, and mental health advocacy.
“I’ve always been drawn to making a difference, drawn to the idea that with hard work, people’s lives are improved. I feel like there’s a duty as a citizen to leave the place better than you found it,” Arlene says. She has a degree in education from the State University of New York at Oneonta and launched her career working for Residential Youth Services, an organization that provided group homes for adolescents removed from their homes due to abuse and neglect. As she built and sustained programs that helped teens suffering from severe trauma, substance abuse issues, and mental health problems, she became conversant in the field of youth services and developed a holistic approach to helping families stay intact and thrive.
Arlene served as executive director of CrisisLink, overseeing it through nine transformational years during a time when the surgeon general declared suicide a national crisis. CrisisLink grew from a small organization with a volunteer-operated suicide hotline into a professional, regional organization that provided prevention, intervention and recovery services for people with serious mental illness and substance abuse disorders and helped people and communities recover in the aftermath of traumatic events.
As Vice President of Community Impact for United Way of the National Capital Area, Arlene was part of a team that was brought in to transition the organization after a rocky period that had resulted in the resignation of the full board of directors and the executive director. This rebuilding of the United Way was exhausting and rewarding for Arlene and gave her valued experience in organizational transformation.
In addition to her tenure at CrisisLink, Arlene ran the Arlington and Alexandria office of Child Support Enforcement for the Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Social Services. In this capacity she initiated prevention and education programs to help teen moms and inmates understand the importance of acknowledging paternity and paying child support.
She returned to nonprofit work and advocacy as director of administration and special projects for the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the nation’s largest consumer and family-driven mental health organization. She provided oversight of grants and human resources and was part of the team that spearheaded a nationwide standards of excellence program that required the certification of over 1100 state and local affiliate organizations. As a consultant for Doorways for Children and Families, Arlene provided quality assurance, restructured human resources, and oversaw Doorways’ transition to a state-of-the-art central office. As an executive coach, Arlene has worked with senior staff at the Nonprofit Roundtable and Postpartum Support Virginia to take them to the next step in organizational development.
In 2011, Arlene joined Phoenix House Mid-Atlantic as clinical care manager. Within 24 hours of a client coming to treatment, Arlene welcomes them, asks them about their needs, and helps them settle in so they can immediately begin focusing on their treatment. She supports families through the recovery process and helps educate them on the disease of addiction and how they can support their loved one instead of enable. “I’m there to answer questions, I’m there to coach, I’m there to educate, and I’m there to help families shore up their energy and strength so they can do the hard thing,” Arlene says.
“This is real people, real families, real struggles,” Arlene says. “I’m working at the front line with families and clients. I let them know that I’m their advocate.”