Mary Lynn Everson

Mary Lynn Everson

Kovler Center, Heartland Alliance

As the former senior director of the Chicago-based Marjorie Kovler Center for the Treatment of Survivors of Torture, Mary Lynn's vision was aligned with the Center’s three-part mission. Her clinical focus was on improving access to services, providing a safe environment for the engagement and treatment of politically-sanctioned torture survivors and their families, as well as tracking and improving outcomes for survivors. Her focus in training was to raise awareness, locally and globally, of torture and torture treatment. She has presented nationally and internationally regarding the Kovler Center treatment model including the factors impacting success and has an article in the publication in the international Torture Journal entitled “Indicators Likely to Contribute to Clinical and Functional Improvement Among Survivors of Politically-Sanctioned Torture.”

Her advocacy efforts focused on support for torture treatment centres through the leadership of and collaboration within the National Consortium of Torture Treatment Programs and the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims, changes in legislation affecting torture survivors such as renewing and strengthening the Torture Victims Relief Act, and ending torture worldwide. Mary Lynn has appeared before the Chicago City Council for the hearing of the Anti-Torture Resolution and before the United Nations Committee Against Torture in Geneva for the review of US compliance with the Convention Against Torture. Mary Lynn was responsible for the overall growth and continued development of Marjorie Kovler Center as well as for contributing to the growth of international programming. Post-retirement in 2018, she continues to support individual survivors through volunteering with intake assessments and completing psychological affidavits for political asylum hearings.

Mary Lynn has a Master of Science degree in Counseling Psychology from George Williams College, graduating in 1976 with High Honors, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology with Honors in General Studies from Ohio University, graduating in 1974. She also obtained a Certificate in Business Administration from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1994. Mary Lynn has over 40 years of experience in community mental health, including 24 years developing and directing trauma treatment programs at Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & amp; Human Rights. A hallmark of her career has been promoting and connecting women, including students, staff and colleagues in the field.

Day 1: Afternoon Session: Health and Well-being