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Hidden Gems: Meet Antoinette Watson of A Little HOPE

Today we’d like to introduce you to Antoinette Watson. 

Hi Antoinette, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstories with our readers?
I’ve been in the nursing field since 2009. I graduated from Winston-Salem State University with a Bachelor’s in Nursing and initially wanted to pursue critical care medicine. This led me to Vanderbilt University and I obtained a Master’s in Nursing with a focus on Acute Care studies, so mostly training for intensive care settings. I relocated from NC to Florida in 2016 to start my career as a Nurse Practitioner in Transplant Cardiology, which taught me so much and afforded so many learning and career experiences. 

Fast forward a few years, around 2018, having a conversation with my son, then 7 yrs. old, I realized how narrow the perspective of children can be due to their limited life experience of course. Well, this piqued my interest and I started casually researching child and adolescent psychology. To my novice knowledge, I learned the suicide rate among pre-teens/teens, ages 11-16 yrs., was climbing at an alarming rate. I made the decision that day to go back to school to study Psychiatry as I wanted to save the children from suicide. That decision has since led to my current position today. 

I really enjoy making a difference in the lives of others and am so happy I made the decision to purse Psychiatry! Although I’ll always have a special place in my heart for Acute Care medicine. 

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
This journey has definitely been a challenge. Going back to school while working full time and raising two children was a balancing act for sure. Along with starting a small business right as the pandemic was changing life as we know it, there was a high degree of uncertainty of how things would turn out. But I was all in and didn’t look back. 

As you know, we’re big fans of A Little HOPE LLC. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about the brand?
I own and operate an outpatient mental health practice that serves children, age 6 yrs.+, up to the adult/geriatric population. I have locations in South Tampa as well as Riverview that offer in-office services as well as the capability to complete visits virtually for those outside of this range. 

I offer psychiatric evaluations for medication management, psychotherapy for select individuals, and offer an intimate relationship to my patients. They are more than a diagnosis to me. 

I am proud to be a small business owner and provide a service to my surrounding community. 

Are there any apps, books, podcasts, blogs, or other resources you think our readers should check out?
I really enjoy the periodical Psychology Today magazines. Other than that, I like to keep positive things in my face mostly; from post on social media, emails from patients expressing gratitude, or fun things regarding exercise I find online. The goal is to remain inspired and focus on what’s real in an effort to keep negativity and unrealistic ideas to a minimum. 

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