Morgan Reid is an extraordinary young mental health professional and operations specialist based here in Philly. She was born and raised in South Jersey and went to school on the Mainline. Plus, she is a huge Eagles fan (so are we)!
Besides being a mental health professional, Morgan also runs her own business, A Little Mental. This is in effort to help people reach wellness, a little mental, at a time. Along with A Little Mental, Morgan also developed her first product, AroDough—a portable self-care tool!
We asked Morgan a series of questions about her journey as a young professional and her advice for college students starting out (or even finishing) their path into similar industries. Read more about what Morgan had to say and connect with Morgan here; happy reading!
A little bit about Morgan…
Hi! My name is Morgan Reid and I am a mental health professional and operations specialist based here in Philly. I was born and raised right across the bridge in South Jersey, grew up going to church in West Philly, went to school on the Mainline, and have rooted for the Eagles my whole life—so Philly has always represented home for me.
Philly is home to us, too! Share a little about your story—where did you go to college, what did you study? What are some of your favorite things to do?
I went to Villanova for undergrad (Go Cats!) majoring in Psychology and minoring in Business. I was really involved on campus, doing a ton of things that I am now in disbelief that I had the energy to do!
After Villanova, I went straight into graduate school and got my Masters in Counseling and Mental Health Services from the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education.
After college, I really wanted to fall back in love with reading so that’s something that I’ve spent time exploring. I also like discovering new areas of the city, trying new brunch spots, working out, and spending time with my friends and family.
You run your own business, A Little Mental: tell us more about your role there.
I am the Founder and CEO of A Little Mental where we strive to help you reach wellness, a little mental, at a time.
I created A Little Mental in 2020 as a direct result of the impact of what occurred that year, which caused a lot of people to navigate unprecedented levels of trauma, isolation, stress, and overall emotional turmoil. Because of my background, I was often fielding mental health-related questions in my various personal inboxes and figured that I could use my own personal and professional experiences to create a space online where these questions and experiences could be validated.
The mission of A Little Mental is to bridge the gap between recognizing one’s own mental health struggles and accessing the adequate care needed to address them. We do this by promoting access to resources, facilitating learning through psycho-education, and developing products that support you on your healing journey (like AroDough!).
That is so awesome—tell us all about AroDough!
AroDough is the first product developed here at A Little Mental. It is a portable self-care tool that holds the benefits of aromatherapy, fidget toys, and mindfulness tools combined. It’s a soft malleable dough infused with essential oils that leads you to smell and squeeze your stress away.
Manipulating the dough and breathing in its aroma activates your own body’s stress reduction system, naturally helping you relax, release, and re-energize.
It currently comes in three aromas that are available year-round, in addition to a special holiday aroma that will be coming out soon! Each aroma has a blend of essential oils that hold their own unique benefits, addressing a multitude of self-care needs.
BTW: as a reader, you can receive a special discount for AroDough! Use Code: Philly20 for a 20% discount off your order.
How did your education prepare you for your business ventures?
My education has always been situated around the mental health space, but my time at Villanova and my time at Penn prepared me in different ways.
Villanova was always a place that emphasized how caring for your community is a major pillar of living a good life. Being able to explore so many different ways of how to do that has helped me stay innovative and curious about taking that same goal into the mental health industry. During my time at Nova, I was able to do community-based independent research, start a community-based mentoring program, and even explore what it looks like to support a community-based business by developing marketing solutions in my business classes.
My experience at Penn gave me the space to develop the knowledge and technical skills I actually use in my business. Unfortunately, realizing you want to improve your mental health and knowing how to navigate the systems needed to actually do that, are two very different things. On average, it takes 11 years for that to actually happen (crazy, right?). My graduate education experience has given me the opportunity to bridge that gap, and that’s the mission of A Little Mental.
This is all amazing. Thank you so much for sharing! Do you have any last pieces of advice for college students or recent grads looking to expand their professional network in the Greater Philadelphia Region?
Most professionals love helping students and recent grads. So, take this time to just soak up as much insight and exposure as possible, especially under the guise of being so “new” to the professional scene. One way I’ve taken advantage of that status has been through informational interviews or a career exploration conversation.
These sorts of conversations/interviews are essentially a space where you can ask someone a bunch of questions about their career journey and get exposure to different life experiences without feeling the need to balance a lot of extensive social interaction. Most can be as quick as a 15-minute phone call or can be done over coffee, lunch, or Zoom. Honestly, people love talking about themselves so when you get a response, it will most likely be a positive one.
Requesting this sort of interaction also shows a lot of great characteristics to the person you’re connecting with—self-starter, organized, determined, personable, etc. This may even prompt them to present opportunities you didn’t even know were available.
It’s actually the exact reason I got into my grad program and how I got my first job after school. So I know firsthand how effective this strategy can be. Give it a try! You never know what may come out of it.
What’s something you’d tell a student seeking a job this fall?
Every college/university has some sort of alumni association or career center. Use everything at your disposal; that’s what they’re there for. They will help you navigate it all because finding a job can be a complex and frustrating process. You don’t have to do it alone.
Thanks for taking the time to speak with us about your incredible journey so far, anything else or advice you’d like to share?
My goals for A Little Mental moving forward are to grow our impact online as well as offline.
We just released The A Little Mental Podcast on World Mental Health Day, which was on October 10. This first season I, along with the help of some other amazing mental health professionals, will be answering questions all about therapy. I’m so excited for people to hear the amazing insight from the group of mental health professionals this season, and I’m hopeful that it can make the therapeutic experience a bit less stressful and intimidating for those who listen.
We are also excited to develop more in-person programming to bring together folks in the Philly area who are looking to access resources, learn about mental health, and heal through wellness. We hosted a self-care event in partnership with Moy Bien Tea to bring awareness to BIPOC Mental Health Awareness Month in July right in Germantown. I’m looking forward to partnering with more organizations and companies in the area who are looking to develop spaces for folks to find community through mental health and wellness!