Rowena Mudiappa was born in Colombo, Sri Lanka and later immigrated to Oak Park, Illinois with part of her family. Growing up in the beautiful island of Sri Lanka, she learned about community and the impact of trauma on communities. This lead her to pursue a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a minor in Gender Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her interest in learning more about the person in context led her to study Social Work at the University of Chicago with a concentration in trauma and violence prevention.
Following graduate school, Rowena’s faith took her to western Michigan where she stumbled on the world of Infant Mental Health, learned about conducting home visits, developed a keen eye in observing parent-child relationships and was endorsed as an Infant Mental Health Specialist. A few years after, her desire to continue growing in her faith took her to North Carolina. There, Rowena had the privilege of being trained in the Healthy Families America model, Circle of Security Parenting and Child Parent Psychotherapy. She continued to learn various Evidence-Based Practices to support and strengthen parent-child relationships, it was during this work that she witnessed the power of relationships to heal from trauma.
Witnessing the impact of the work with families and seeing the growing need for Spanish speaking mental health service providers Rowena pursued a long-term personal goal to provide services in Spanish. Following her time in Spain she returned to North Carolina, provided HealthySteps model to Spanish speaking families in a pediatric clinic and trained medical providers and clinical staff on Trauma-Informed Care, Adverse Childhood Experiences and Social-Emotional development of children.
Rowena currently provides support to Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) funded agencies across the US and US territories, working to increase the access to services and standard of care for children and families who experience or witness traumatic events.
Rowena feels fortunate to continue supporting families and children to have strong relationships, heal from trauma and thrive in many facets as she leans on what she has learned from the invaluable lessons that families and children have taught her and as she learns alongside many of those who have gone before her in this work.
Rowena is honored to be an Infant Mental Health Mentor Clinical who provides training to organizations to be trauma-informed, provide reflective supervision to staff and parenting support.