I came to NAMI, primarily, because of the experiences I had with children and families who were experiencing mental illness and the myriad challenges that surround too many people in our society around access to quality care, stigma, and support.
In my work in an elementary school serving a financially-challenged population, I saw the first-hand effects of a need
for quality access, services, support, expediency when changing insurance, and more. I saw how mental illness canaffect families and communities, and I saw how our antiquated approaches to funding, reimbursing, labeling, and servicing can - and should - be improved to support the people we love and their communities.
I've been a Board member for 3 years, and have attended regularly and upheld my duties as the Board-elected President, leading the Executive Committee, attending major events, and making substantial financial contributions.
Serving on the Board requires a significant commitment of time, energy, and money, but I am proud to do so, proud to be associated with NAMI-Dane County, and looking forward to continued engagement with the Board and organization.
I came to Madison more than 40 years ago specifically to work with people with schizophrenia and other serious mental illness. An important part of that work has been working with families and friends and the support system that helps keep all of us going. I was involved with NAMI before NAMI as an organization even
existed. I was part of PAMI, the parents group that began meeting in California in the 1970s, and I began meeting with the Madison families who would make NAMI a reality shortly after I arrived in town. I have spent my professional life in educating consumers, their families as well as other parts of ourcommunity, in promoting ideas of recovery. This education, along with advocacy and working to decrease stigma are the core mission of NAMI. I am now about to retire from my own professional job, and I am excited to be a board member of NAMI and to help continue its work.
I’ve been a member of NAMI since 1996. I was an active board member in the late 1990s and early 2000s, having served under both Bob Beilman and Gail Louise Auerbach. I chaired the Education of the Community at Large
Committee. I also served on the NAMI WI board for several years. I know that mental illness can and does affect all of us, whether directly or indirectly. As a result, I am as passionate about fighting stigma as I am about improving the lives of people withmental illness -- not only through my research, but through education and advocacy. I am seeking re-election to the board because I want to work on engaging more diverse communities to join, enhance, and benefit from our wonderful organization -- this includes people of color, younger people, veterans, and people in the professional sectors who can contribute much-needed funds to support our work.
In my past work, I was a researcher studying aspects of behavioral health care, including medical education. During this work, I’ve experienced and recognized an increasing degree of stigma around mental illness. This issue persists despite rates of various diagnoses that seem to be rising among family and friends over time. I want to combat
stigma – and NAMI has been tirelessly dedicated to that work. If re-elected, I will continue to my work on evaluation materials as part of the programs and services subcommittee.