Carolina People

Carolina People: Tara Bohley

The heart of Tara Bohley’s work is giving professionals the knowledge they need to provide better services to people with mental illness and substance abuse disorders.

Tara Bohley poses for a photo
Tara Bohley (Jon Gardiner/UNC-Chapel Hill)

Tara Bohley


Social Work Research Projects, School of Social Work

6 years working at Carolina


What’s a typical day like in your job?

I’m the director of the Behavioral Health Springboard at the School of Social Work. We provide initiatives focused on workforce cultivation. Some weeks, I’m in the office, attending meetings, managing staff, responding to emails, working on new projects. Other weeks, I’m on the road throughout North Carolina, coordinating trainings or attending conferences. I go to Raleigh often to meet with our liaisons at the state mental health authority. 

How does your work  support Carolina’s mission?

Everything we do is about public service. We extend knowledge to the people who are providing services to people with mental illness and substance use disorders. We train therapists; help certify people with these disorders to help others in similar situations; train Master of Social Work students; train faculty, staff and students on mental health first aid. 

What do you like most about your work?

I love the versatility that my job offers. It plays to my strengths in a way that is exciting and rewarding, and it plays to my challenges in a way that is motivating for growth. I also like that we see change and directly experience our impact.

What is something surprising about your work?

I think people would be surprised to learn about the breadth of the programs run through our office. I manage 10 different projects that are each unique. Some know me as part of the mental health first aid program, while others know me as part of the peer support specialist program. We are involved in meaningful work.

How did you come to work in this position?

My undergraduate degree was in psychology. I got a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy, and then I realized that, to effect the most change, I needed to work at the policy and organizational level. So I got a master’s in public affairs with a focus in nonprofit management. I think that combination of the direct, clinical approach, as well as the policy understanding helped me pull all of my strengths together. As soon as I interviewed for this job, I knew that it was the perfect fit for me because it combined all of my education and strengths. I love being at Carolina and for the six years that I’ve been here, I’ve always felt supported and welcome.  

Carolina People is a regular feature in each issue of the Gazette that asks one of your fascinating colleagues five questions about the work they do for the University. Do you know someone with an interesting or unique job at Carolina? Please email your suggestions to and put Carolina People in the subject line.