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Dr. April Duncan (DSW, LCSW, RPT-S) obtained her Bachelor’s in Arts & Science from the University of Missouri-Columbia (2006), Masters of Social Work from Saint Louis University (2012), and Doctorate of Social Work from the University of Southern California. She has over ten years of clinical experience in supporting children in schools, the juvenile justice system, the child welfare system, and non-profit settings. As a racial trauma expert, she champions the rights of Black children to “reclaim their childhood” by using play therapy to help them learn healthy coping skills to manage race-based stress. Dr. April also works closely with community members, educators, parents, and professionals across to learn better ways to connect with Black children and provide a safe place to process negative race-based experiences. 

  • Founder & CEO, BMH Connect, June 2020-present

  • Adjunct Faculty Instructor, Tulane University, MSW Program, August 2021-present

  • Parent Educator, Hopscotch, August 2022-present

  • Co-Owner & Co-Founder, St. Louis Play Therapy Institute, November 2016-November 2022

  • Owner, All About Play, January 2016-May 2022

  • Licensed Clinical Social Worker, 2016-present

  • Registered Play Therapist, 2016-present

  • Registered Play Therapist Supervisor, 2021-present


Black youth are suffering from high rates of race-based stress that, left untreated, is developing into racial trauma. Researchers have linked anxiety, depression, isolation, and suicidal behavior to untreated racial trauma in Black youth. BMH (Black Mental Health) Connect seeks to address these issues through play-based interventions that inspire real conversations around race-based issues affecting Black youth today.

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