Welcome to Remote Access Mental Health. If you have come across this website, you are probably engaging in important work somewhere around the world. You may be an NGO employee, journalist, missionary, aid worker, diplomat, business person, or exchange student. As a wanderlust stricken adventure seeker, you may find living cross-culturally invigorating. However, it can also be challenging. Leaving your home culture can be disorienting, leading to adjustment difficulties and culture shock. You might struggle with loneliness and isolation, compassion fatigue, or conflicts with colleagues. While living abroad, you may also experience more substantial mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, panic attacks, traumatic stress and vicarious trauma. While separated from your natural support structures, you may find yourself engaging in unhealthy relationships or destructive behaviors such as excessive drinking or drug use. You may also struggle with increased marital stress and parenting difficulties.
The good news is, you are not alone and you can get help.
Remote Access Mental Health is here for you. Through on-line counseling by a licensed mental health professional, you can receive quality, evidence-based mental health counseling anywhere around the world. If you are experiencing acute crisis, please go to my Crisis link. Otherwise, feel free to contact me regarding any questions and to set up a complimentary introductory appointment.
Anita Colombara, LICSW
Founder of Remote Access Mental Health
Why was RAMH formed?
Growing up in Washington D.C., I had friends who hailed from every corner of the world. I envied their international experiences and was determined to become a globetrotter too. Over the years, I have been privileged to visit and live in over a dozen countries. For four years I lived in Cambodia, working with a Christian NGO that served among the poor. I gave birth to my second child in Malaysia. Years later, I enrolled my children in public school in Beijing. Throughout my inter-continental journeys, I experienced both the joys and challenges of being an outsider in a foreign land. I loved acquiring new languages, assimilating to new cultures, and feasting on new cuisine. However, I also struggled with adjustment issues – cultural shock, loneliness, and boredom; with mental health issues – post-partum depression, anxiety, and vicarious trauma; and with relational issues – misunderstandings with locals and colleagues, marital strain, and difficulties parenting my two young children.
As I developed relationships with other foreigners, I heard similar struggles recounted time and again. I saw the vital need for my peers, who live and work internationally, to have access to quality mental health support. That is why I founded Remote Access Mental Health. My vision is to see globally mobile people thrive no matter where they choose to live or are stationed. My mission is to provide support for this unique population, who might otherwise lack access, with on-line professional mental health counseling.
I have a unique combination of experience and training that enables me to provide mental health counseling for the globally mobile. I have worked and raised a family in several countries, served as a social worker for those in a variety of crisis situations, and have extensive experience providing evidenced-based mental health therapy for children, adults, couples and families.
After college, I spent years engaged in anti-violence work in Boston, MA with a focus on human-trafficking awareness and domestic violence advocacy. I later served as the shelter manager for a domestic violence shelter. My work in domestic violence led to opportunities in community organizing for anti-violence work within faith-based communities as well as the city of Boston at large.
In 2004, I moved to Cambodia with my husband and three-month old son. We spent two years living among and learning from the urban poor in Phnom Penh. We then moved to the sleepy provincial capital of Kampong Cham where we lived for another two years. There, my family worked with Khmer staff to mobilize and train hundreds of volunteers from local churches to serve their community through home-based care for HIV AIDS patients, and to develop domestic violence curriculum, as well as conflict resolution and peace building skills.
After years abroad, I relocated to Seattle to earn a Masters in Social Work degree, focusing on trauma intervention and therapy. While at the University of Washington, I was employed as a Social Worker for Unaccompanied Refugee Minors, working with highly traumatized individuals from various conflict ridden regions. Since graduation, I have been engaged in clinical social work, serving as a community based mental health therapist in Seattle, WA.
My passion lies in seeing traumatized communities build resilience and supporting those in the field who are involved in that vital work.
Training and Certifications
Masters in Social Work – Mental Health Track, University of Washington School of Social Work
Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker – LW60670441
Licensed Mental Health Professional in the State of Washington
Ethnic Minority Mental Health Specialist
Child Mental Health Specialist
See Services for specific therapeutic certifications.