Paige "Jude" Gilmar
Founder and CEO
of Asking Jude
"To many, Asking Jude is a not-for-profit mental health initiative. To some, Asking Jude is just a dream. To us, it is a home for our family."
Beyond its therapeutic value, Asking Jude is an educational and clinical experience for young psychology students. Since many university students are often barred from counseling because they do not have the necessary qualifications, Asking Jude uses the concept of “peer support” to allow deserving individuals the opportunity to help others and refine their skills in communication and counseling. Founded in 2015, Asking Jude’s internship program fits neatly around students’ busy university schedules through its flexibility and accessibility. Many of Asking Jude’s interns have been accepted into prestigious graduate programs in clinical psychology, such as Columbia University and University of California, Berkeley.
“It’s incredibly hypocritical--some mental health workers, many of them often insensitive and prejudiced towards the mentally ill, claim to fight for the lives of the most vulnerable. Little do the they tell you that they slap on big, pretty price-tags that no one can afford and most insurance companies don’t cover. They seem to be in it to make money off of the people they help, not help people.
“Asking Jude shows that you do not need a big, fancy PhD to help those in need. Though education is imperative for helping others, we forget what is most important is empathy and open-mindedness. Asking Jude is fighting for the most vulnerable, those in greatest need of support. Asking Jude is founded by me, sometimes Paige, sometimes Jude-- someone who has lived through the hell of mental illness rather than only studying it in a textbook. To me, that makes all the difference.”
A candid of Paige (left) and her barbershop-singing grandfather (right), who dealt with untreated Asperger's all his life.
A pensive Paige (right) photographed with her loving grandmother (left), who later suffered from the devastating effects of Alzheimer's.