Therapy Staff for Wake and Orange County Locations


Wake County


Darren L. Debo, MSW, LCSW
Clinical Instructor/Therapist

Mr. Debo joined the Wake STEP Clinic in November 2015 as a clinical instructor/therapist.He received his master’s degree in social work from Florida international University in Miami and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton.  Since moving to North Carolina in 2007, he has worked as a clinical administrator at Dorothea Dix Hospital and a clinician at Wake County Human Services Outpatient Behavioral Health.  Most recently, he served as the clinical operations director for Monarch in Wake County. His direct practice experience includes working with children, adolescents, adults, couples and geriatric populations.  He has experience working with severe and persistent mental illness, individuals affected by domestic violence, forensics, inpatient psychiatric settings in South Florida, Washington D.C., New York City, and as an adjunct professor at Florida International University in Miami.


Deborah Lawson

Deborah Lawson, MSW, LCSW, LMFT
Clinical Instructor, Social Worker/Therapist

Ms. Lawson is a licensed clinical social worker and a licensed marriage and family therapist.  She provides individual, couple, group, and family therapy to clients with severe and persistent mental illness as well as those with co-occurring substance abuse disorders and/or developmental disabilities. Her clinical interests include treatment of SPMI, CBT, WRAP, Solution Focused Therapy, and using family therapy to incorporate friends or family members into treatment.  She believes in the value of education, incorporating self-advocacy, and building supportive relationships so those with mental illness can achieve stable, enjoyable, and productive lives.


Shannon Wallace

Shannon Wallace, LCSW, LCAS
Interim Director, Clinical Services
Social Worker/Therapist

Ms. Wallace, a licensed clinical social worker and clinical addictions specialists, is located at the UNC STEP Community Clinic in Wake County. She also works at two of its regional locations, Western in Raleigh and Eastern in Zebulon. Her clinical responsibilities include individual therapy and case management for adults diagnosed with severe and persistent mental illness (SPMI) and co-occurring substance abuse disorders. Her clinical interests include the treatment of SPMI and co-occurring substance abuse disorders (individual and group therapy), minimizing the impact of substance abuse/dependence on the individual and family system and treatment of those with a criminal background. Treatment modalities are based on the needs of the individual and often combine evidence-based models such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Motivational Enhancement, Solution-Focused Therapy and Harm Reduction.


Orange County – Carr Mill Mall Location



Jennifer Niles, MSW, LCSW, LCAS



Jenny Tilford, MSSW, LCSW
Clinical Instructor/Social Worker/Therapist

Jenny Tilford joined the Carr Mill STEP Clinic staff in April 2016 as a clinical instructor/therapist. She received her master of science in social work degree in clinical social work from the University of Tennessee in 2001. Since moving to North Carolina in 2001, she has worked as a sentencing specialist in the superior criminal court system of Orange and Chatham counties, in community mental, as a clinician in private practice, and as a clinical assessor and outpatient therapist at Easter Seals UCP.  Her clinical interests include women’s mental health, treatment of mood disorders, and treatment of SPMI utilizing cognitive-behavioral therapies.



Melike WarrickMelike Warrick, LCSW, LCAS
Ms. Warrick is an outpatient therapist at the Center. She is a licensed clinical social worker and licensed clinical addictions specialist. She also completed intensive training in DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) and has experience providing individual and group DBT therapy.

Ms. Warrick has extensive experience in in-home and community- based care for the treatment of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and dual disorders (co-occurring mental illness and substance abuse) from working on both the ACT Team and Community Support Team. She completed her social work internship at the STEP Clinic and is trained in Motivational Interviewing and Illness Management and Recovery (IMR).