Dr. Angela Neal-Barnett is a national award-winning licensed psychologist, certified grief recovery method specialist, professor, and leading expert on anxiety disorders among Black Americans. The first Black woman to be tenured and promoted to the rank of full professor in Kent State University’s Department of Psychological Sciences and in the College of Arts and Sciences, she directs the Program for Research on Anxiety Disorders among African Americans (PRADAA).
Workplaces are comprised of people. As a sought-after expert on workplace mental health, she works with employees of Fortune 500 corporations and top 100 law firms around racial trauma, grief and the anxiety of the "only."
Dr. Neal-Barnett's strength is her ability to utilize her academic research to create innovative, practical mental health interventions to help corporations with their employees' mental health needs. Along with her team, she works with leaders to create strategies to address the mental health concerns that affect workplace productivity.
She is also heralded for her work on Black maternal mental health. Her award-winning SOS Sister Circles intervention recognizes that expectant mothers who are suffering from untreated anxiety or other stressors are at higher risk for pre-term births, infant mortality, and maternal morbidity. She trains personnel from community organizations, universities, and medical schools around the country to deliver SOS.
In addition to her widely cited research publications, Dr. Neal-Barnett has been featured in Selena Gomez's Wondermind, O the Oprah Magazine, Essence, Fortune, Forbes, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Harvard Business Review. She has appeared on NPR, CNN, BET, MSNBC, NBC, and ABC, Fortune’s HBR The Anxious Achiever. Her writings on the anxiety of the only and Black workplace mental health are part of the Harvard Business Review’s Guide to Better Mental Health at Work. Her work Soothe Your Nerves, the Black Women’s Guide to Understanding and Overcoming Anxiety, Panic, and Fear continues to be a perennial favorite. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Essence and Self named Soothe Your Nerves, one of their Top 10 must-have books.
Athena Akron Leadership Award
Kent State University’s President's Faculty Excellence Award
Jerilyn Ross Clinician Advocate Award from the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA)
Top 10 Finalist Kent State University Outstanding Teacher Award
American Psychological Association's Kenneth and Mamie Clark Award for Outstanding Mentoring of BIPOC student
Dr. Neal-Barnett on being an “only”:
I’m not going to sugarcoat it. There have been times when it’s been wonderful, and there have been times when I thought I should get paid for being Black. So, it’s been ups and downs with challenges and triumphs. Sometimes, I think that it happens so often that you just don’t realize you’re an “only” until it just hits you in the face.
I had an incident recently where somebody said to me, ‘We just didn’t understand the value of your work.’ And I thought, ‘I wonder if other people who are an only get that.’
Dr. Angela speaks at Athena Leadership luncheon about women, leadership, and fear of failure. "As women, we should greet failure the same way Ariana Grande greets old boyfriends and ex-husbands: Thank you, next."
Dr. Neal-Barnett’s sensitivity, frankness, and willingness to give concrete suggestions as to how each student can help eradicate institutional racism were very inspiring. Helping the students to see examples of the institutional racism across different institutions in our society was also very beneficial.
- University Professor
Dr. Neal-Barnett is an oracle.
- State Public Employee
Her work is inspiring.
- Museum Director
It was an amazing event.
- Emotional and Wellness Coach
We were blessed to Dr. Angela work with our Black professionals after the murder of George Floyd. We can’t create belonging without addressing well-being.
- Law Firm DEI Director
She is one of the best in the country.
- Hospital CEO
Dr. Neal-Barnett was very insightful and provided much needed information about the impacts of stress and trauma on Black mothers, as well as, strategies to mitigate these impacts. She was very good at explaining the science behind these outcomes, which is important because not most people are unfamiliar with the science.
- Statehouse Representative