When someone from the public calls or walks into the ADAMH Board of Franklin County office seeking connection to care or help with an issue, often the person they’ll talk to is Henry Bryant Jr. Henry, who joined the organization a few months ago, is ADAMH’s client rights advocate.
Henry carefully and thoughtfully manages individual and family grievances and concerns and educates community members about their personal rights. He also serves as the ADAMH representative on the Community Advocacy Council, an advocacy group made up of individuals with lived experience in mental health, substance use disorders and developmental disabilities, as well as family members of those in recovery.
“My job is to advocate for and serve the people of Franklin County,” said Henry.
Though Henry joined ADAMH a short time ago, he’s a familiar face to many, having worked in social services in central Ohio for more than 20 years. Spend a few minutes talking to Henry about his career and you’ll quickly learn that he is a very community-oriented person. His prior work largely focused on the homeless population, and he remains passionate about helping the homeless community in any way he can. Most recently, he served as the director of client and shelter services at the Lutheran Social Services Faith Mission.
“For me, life is about helping others,” said Henry. “I’m a huge Martin Luther King guy, and one of his sayings is, ‘Everybody can be great because anybody can serve.’”
His past work experience, coupled with growing up in poverty in Chicago with a single mother who worked very hard to make ends meet, makes him an especially empathetic person. He also has experience working in the retail industry, which has undoubtably contributed to his customer service mindset. All of this makes him a perfect fit for his role.
“When I’m talking to people who are in need of services, I look at them as if they were a family member or if they were me,” said Henry. “I always try to put myself in their shoes, listen to them, don’t cut them off, don’t try to answer before they say what they need to say, and let them know that my line, 614-222-3743, is always open to them, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.”
Outside of work, Henry loves spending time with his wife and three daughters, playing video games and rooting for his hometown team, the Chicago Bears. While he’s become immersed in the central Ohio community, Henry shared that he still loves all things Chicago—which begged the question: which does he prefer, Chicago pizza or Chicago hot dogs? “Both,” he answered with a smile.