Dr. Cheryl L. Mejta, Ph.D. is a licensed clinical psychologist in the state of Illinois. She has worked at Wellness Home at NorthStar (previously known as NorthStar Healthcare) for over 25 years, serving the behavioral health needs of the LBGTQ+ community. She is a strong proponent of the integration of behavioral healthcare with physical healthcare. Working with the healthcare team, she focuses on the psychological aspects of health and wellness to promote the overall well-being of our patients.
In the early years of HIV/AIDS, she helped patients negotiate the emotional and social aspects of the disease, supporting them through their fears, anxieties, complex treatment regimens as well as experiences of rejection, discrimination, and stigmatization. Most importantly, she helped them find ways to continue to live their lives – recognizing that HIV was a part of them but not all of them. With the advent of highly effective medications, HIV has become a chronic health condition needing to be managed throughout one’s life. As many people have become long-term survivors of HIV, other health concerns, often related to getting older, have emerged. Her current focus is supporting patients to maintain their health throughout their lives by finding their true “NorthStar” to guide them.
She believes we all have an internal “NorthStar” or compass to help us traverse our lives journey. For many of us, however, the light has been dimmed by past traumas experienced by sexual minorities, people of color, and women including abuse, discrimination, prejudice, rejection, and health, economic, and housing disparities. Left unaddressed, these traumas directly impact our physical health and longevity. As a psychotherapist, she sees herself as a guide, helping her patients on their journey to find their “NorthStar.” As a guide, she assists in identifying and removing emotional, behavioral, relational, and perceptual obstacles blocking them from hearing their own voice and seeing their own light.