Alumni Spotlight: Chris Beal

Chris Beal returned to his alma mater to get his MSW from the School of Social Welfare – a decision that has only proved gratifying. 
KU School of Social Welfare MSW alumni Chris Beal is an LMSW clinician working with adolescents with addiction issues.

Chris Beal sees the strength in kids who battle mental illness. He was plugged in on mental health conversations and heard compelling stories during his 35-year career in government and policy. 

Those conversations, and a personal journey, inspired Beal to pursue his Master’s Degree in Social Work at 58 years old. He earned his Master’s from the University of Kansas School of Social Welfare in Spring 2023.  

Beal, who is approaching one year of working at the Johnson County Mental Health Center, was already considering the idea of returning to school. The corporate life wore him down through decades of stress and travel. It was only through self-determination that Beal decided to go to therapy and work through his struggles with alcohol.  

With that decision came a new path.  

“I said, if I ever had an opportunity to go back to school, and work with people in the substance abuse area, I wanted to do that,” said Beal, who got his undergraduate degree at the University of Kansas in the 1980s.