Episode 52:

Founded in 2014 by psychologists and prior college counselors Dr. Keith Higginbotham and Dr. Brett Donnelly, Acacia Counseling and Wellness began in response to a great need for long-term outpatient mental health services in university communities. Brett and Keith saw firsthand that the student demand for mental health services was increasing rapidly and how difficult it was to find long-term treatment options accessible, affordable, and specialized to students. Acacia was formed to tear down these barriers and advocate for students searching for better outpatient mental health care.

Today, Acacia is the leading outpatient provider, college student mental health in both California and Minnesota. They serve thousands of students each week and continue to grow to support the demand. Their mission never waivers, continually searching for better ways to help students and dedicating their life’s work supporting students in need!

What the podcast will teach you:

  • How Dr. Keith and Dr. Brett recognized the dire need for counseling and wellness services for college students, and how their Values align with each other
  • How Dr. Keith and Dr. Brett scaled their business from a single, newly founded practice to multiple locations, and how their team and locations grew over time
  • How they began building up a tele-health brand, and how the global pandemic has accelerated that aspect of their business
  • What unanticipated growth challenges Dr. Keith and Dr. Brett had to overcome, and how they had to transition from practitioners to managers
  • How key early hires made a big difference in the team’s growth and success, and how they were able to prune their mis-hires
  • Why hiring and promoting a diverse workforce has been a key step but also a difficult challenge to overcome, and what steps they have taken to achieve their hiring goals
  • How one of the challenges the company is facing is identifying and anticipating future growth needs
  • How meeting the physical office space growth needs for the company’s practice locations has been a major challenge
  • What plans Dr. Keith and Dr. Brett have for the future growth of their company, and what important lessons they have learned on their journey


Additional resources:

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