NAMI
National Alliance on Mental Illness
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Elicia M. Goodsoldier

Elicia M. Goodsoldier

Nominated by NAMI Boulder County, Colorado

Since the age of 16, I have suffered several bouts of depression. Thankfully, with the help of our spiritual and traditional healers in my tribal community, I have been able to hold off the depression much better.

What brought you to NAMI and what roles have you played in your NAMI Affiliate and NAMI State Organization?

I was introduced to NAMI through the local community mental health center. I have served on the NAMI Boulder & Broomfield Counties affiliate Board for approximately 2 Ĺ years and have been the Board chair for one year. In July of 2012, I initiated an effort to celebrate National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month. NAMI Boulder & Broomfield Counties was the only affiliate in the state of Colorado to celebrate this. I also am involved in a diversity and inclusion initiative, called Build It Together, in partnership with NAMI Colorado and the NAMI Multicultural Action Center. Through this initiative, I assisted in creating the Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council under the NAMI Colorado Board of Directors, which strives to help our organization focus on ensuring access to culturally competent services and support for people of diverse backgrounds who are affected by serious mental illness. On a personal note, I have found that NAMI has helped me greatly in my recovery as well.

What advocacy and organizational priority areas do you believe NAMI should be pursuing in the next three years and how can you help as a Board member?

With the changing face of America, I believe it is imperative for NAMI to increase efforts to engage diverse communities that typically have little or no access to mental health services and support. I believe I can bring experience and advocacy for those communities to the Board. In my work and community involvement, I have been instrumental in creating an inclusive environment by helping to develop population specific informational brochures, increasing organizational awareness in under-represented communities, and most importantly, with regards to educational delivery and outreach, engaging members in culturally appropriate ways. I believe I can help expand the scope of cultural competency training to the NAMI organization.

Please describe any previous service on a board and what you regard as your greatest contribution to that organizationís work through your service on its board. How will you make service on the NAMI Board of Directors your top volunteer priority?

My commitment to community involvement is a critical and important piece of my life. Currently, I am the board chair for NAMI Boulder and Broomfield Counties. I also am a member of the Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council of NAMI Colorado. I also was a member of the Cultural Competency Advisory Council with the Division of Behavioral Health, Colorado Department of Human Services. But one of my most important and vital duties was being a Commissioner for the Denver American Indian Commission at the City of Denver. Here I was able to impact communications between the American Indian community and the City and County of Denver to advocate for social and cultural awareness and to promote equality. Because I believe so much in the mission of NAMI, I feel that these previous experiences, have prepared me with the tools, drive and ability to affect change in the lives of those living with a mental illness.

How can you contribute to NAMIís evolution as ďa dynamic, well-run organization that seeks and engages a diverse and growing membership,Ē as called for in the NAMI strategic plan?

As Iíve noted before, I truly believe in engaging culturally diverse communities, whether it be language, race, religion, beliefs, values, ethnicity, gender, et al. The diverse populations will be the majority in a matter of years and it is widely known that many ethnic populations, in particular, are not very aware of NAMI or mental health services in our communities. Outreach and engagement will be key in this endeavor and I feel that I can contribute greatly. I am excited to see the Standards of Excellence implemented and hope to be a part of that process.

What fund raising, financial oversight, legal, marketing, or information technology expertise do you have to offer to NAMI?

I have been involved in fundraising events for the Chinook Clubhouse, a program of Mental Health Partners in Boulder, CO. I created invitations, posters and advertisements for these events and am skilled in design software programs such as inDesign and Adobe Photoshop. I also assisted with social media marketing for the NAMI Boulder & Broomfield Counties affiliate.

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Job Title or Position:Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor
Employer:Mental Health Partners
NAMI Affiliations: NAMI of Boulder County, Board Chairwoman
Other Board Service: I am not currently serving on any other boards of directors
Public Office: I am not currently serving in any public/elected office

Candidate Statement as Published in the NAMI Advocate

1) I was introduced to NAMI through the local community mental health center. Iíve served on the NAMI Boulder & Broomfield Counties affiliate Board for approximately 2 Ĺ years with one year as the Chair. I am involved in a diversity and inclusion initiative with NAMI Colorado and assisted in creating the Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council under the NAMI Colorado Board of Directors. On a personal note, I have found that NAMI has helped me greatly in my recovery as well.

2) I believe it is imperative for NAMI to increase efforts to engage diverse communities that typically have little or no access to mental health services and support. I believe I can bring experience and advocacy for those communities to the Board and help expand the scope of cultural competency training within the NAMI organization.

3) I was a member of the Cultural Competency Advisory Council with the Division of Behavioral Health, Colorado Department of Human Services. One my most important duties involved being a Commissioner for the Denver American Indian Commission at the City of Denver. Because I believe so much in the mission of NAMI, I feel that these previous experiences, have prepared me with the tools, drive and ability to affect change in the lives of those living with a mental illness.

4) As Iíve noted before, I truly believe in engaging culturally diverse communities. Outreach and engagement will be key in this endeavor and I feel that I can contribute greatly. Iím excited to see the Standards of Excellence implemented and hope to be a part of that ongoing process.

5) Iíve fundraised and planned for events in various capacities whether it be obtaining sponsorships, planning for publicity and promotion and budget maintenance. I also initiated the social media marketing campaign for our local affiliate.


Related Files

Elicia Goodsoldier Candidate Speech

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