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Mary Lehman Held

Dr. Mary Lehman Held

Mary Lehman Held, PhD
MSSW Program Director (Nashville Campus), and Associate Professor


  • BA, University of North Carolina
  • MSW, University of South Carolina
  • PhD, University of Texas

Research Interests:

  • Exposure to immigration-related stressors and trauma
  • Health and well-being among Latino immigrants
  • Mental health service provision for vulnerable populations
  • Integrated physical and behavioral health treatment strategies

Courses Taught:

  • Introduction of Psychopathology and Social Work Practice (SW 537)
  • Social Work in Integrated Health Care Settings (SW540)
  • Systematic Planning and Evaluation for Interpersonal Practice (SW563)
  • Social & Cultural Aspects of Aging (SW 566)
  • Epistemology & Clinical EBP Methods (SW 609)
  • Critical Review of Research Literature (SW 628)

Personal Statement

Dr. Mary Lehman Held received her M.S.W. degree from the University of South Carolina before practicing as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) in Texas. She completed her Ph.D. at the Steve Hicks School of Social Work at the University of Texas. Her research agenda of Latino immigrant health and well-being is driven by her practice experience with youth in Central America and her clinical practice with Latino immigrants in Texas. Dr. Held is invested in increasing knowledge related to the hardships endured throughout the immigration process (pre-migration, migration journey, and post-migration) and how to better address the impact of these hardships. In addition, she promotes teaching strategies, such as integrated health care, to strengthen health and behavioral health service provision to vulnerable populations. Dr. Held’s research is community engaged and multidisciplinary. She routinely engages in community-based presentations to further knowledge related to trauma and Latino immigrant youth in Tennessee.