DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — The current cycle of events in our world can take a toll on one’s emotional and mental health; therefore an Ohio doctor is providing specialized care to those who are struggling, those who are chronically suicidal, and those who have a tough time managing emotions.

Dr. Nikki Winchester is one of only six clinicians in Ohio certified in Dialectical Behavior Therapy. She opened her practice in April, and as people deal with stress from the pandemic and racial inequalities brought to light, her services couldn’t be more timely.

A Dayton native, she graduated from Chaminade-Julienne High School, completed her undergrad at the University of Dayton, and did her post-grad work at Xavier University. After extensive training and interning, she’s worked at the Cincinnati VA for about six years and now has her own practice.

Dr. Winchester says she always knew she wanted to help people, and in high school expressed an interest in becoming a psychologist.

“I remember that when I got my first cell phone, I would leave it on all night long, and my mom came in and she’s like ‘You need to turn that off when you’re asleep. Let it charge. Turn it off.’ And I said no because people won’t be able to get a hold of me if they need help,” recalls Dr. Winchester.

Certified in Dialectical Behavior Therapy–or DBT–she offers 24/7 phone coaching.

“My clients in DBT can get access to me 24/7 to have help using the skills and avoid a crisis,” says Dr. Winchester.

With uncertainty from the pandemic and a renewed pain of racism that many are feeling, her support is especially critical.

“We are in many ways going through a collective trauma,” states Dr. Winchester. “This is causing a lot of stress for a lot of people. It’s bringing up a lot of things for a lot of people. It’s bringing up pain.”

She treats people using a multifaceted approach–focusing on mindfulness, managing emotions, problem solving, and stress tolerance, among other behaviors.

She’s based in Cincinnati, but can offer services to anyone in Ohio, including people in Dayton because she operates virtually.

“People are really appreciating that immediate access to someone that they trust is providing the treatment as it was designed,” says Dr. Winchester. “People are looking for therapists who can support them, to talk through this, to think through this.”

For anyone experiencing suicidal thoughts, she says it’s important to reach out to a therapist.

For more information on Dr. Winchester and ways to reach her, click here.