Dave Lushbaugh was nominated by NAMI Georgia. View the nomination letter from NAMI Georgia. (pdf, opens in new window)
Each board candidate was asked to answer several questions relating to NAMI and the experience they bring to the board. Each candidate was limited to 300 words for each answer. Read Daves's answers below:
NAMI Self-Identification Statement
Married, 3 adult children - the oldest a 32 year old son diagnosed with schizophrenia in 1995. 10 year NAMI family member/leader with exposure to arduous public/private mental health systems, treatments, research trials, stigma/education, employment, housing, advocacy/legislative action and forensics. Management employee of a non health related large corporation.
Why do you want to serve on the NAMI National board of directors?
NAMI support and education helped me to turn my grief and frustration into hope and constructive action.
Having demonstrated positive results in significant areas of our NAMI mission over the past 10 years as a family member, affiliate and state president, I would like the opportunity to do more.
My involvement includes earning the confidence of and building a coalition of state senior mental health, department of education and law enforcement officials, pertinent advocacy organizations, mental health professionals, legislative, judiciary, civic, faith-based and business leaders, consumer and family member advocates.
This resulted in support for:
We can achieve increased membership and affiliate growth, awareness and implementation of Family To Family, Visions, Peer To Peer and
Most people want to do the right thing. Science has proven that serious mental illnesses are treatable diseases like any other, we now must provide and maintain local community and state programs that are supported by research (family and consumer voices) and that when proven will demonstrate to all "that investment in appropriate treatment" provides cost effective human recovery results. The tools are now available, with leadership emphasis; we can do this.
What financial management or fund raising expertise would you bring to the Board?
What is the most pressing public policy issue facing NAMI members today? What course of action do you suggest?
Stigma and lack of knowledge remain the major root cause of people not accepting treatment and the general public’s lack of understanding of the problem, resulting in inadequate resources for recovery based treatment.
Proposal: Development of a blockbuster presentation of our story showing how SMI impacts everyone in society, and that treatment works; and can be cost effective. Train local/regional/national NAMI teams to present it, and get on the annual agenda of every state and national County Commissioners, Law Enforcement, Judiciary, Legal, Department of Education, Legislative, Mayors, Media, Governors, Corporate, Civic and Faith based organization in the Country. In addition, the presentation will be a membership growth tool and a terrific morale booster for all our current members.
What brought you to NAMI -- and what is most valuable to you about your participation in the NAMI movement?
Ten years ago, my then 22 year old college student came home in the middle of night talking irrationally. We had no idea what was happening. We wound up in the street, with our neighbors of 15 years surrounding him, trying to convince him to let us take him to a doctor. He would not go; a neighbor got his car keys, so he could not leave. The police were called and then a trip, I’ll never forget, (nor will you forget) to the state mental hospital.
A neighbor had the phone number of someone at an organization called NAMI. I called and began learning about serious mental illnesses. Later, my treasured son was diagnosed with Schizophrenia. I believe that with enough educated, enlightened, organized team effort we can dramatically "improve the lives of all those affected by serious mental illnesses."
NAMI has given me much peace from what was, for me, incomprehensible grief and turned it into positive action for improvement. In the 1950’s my Grandmother used to say. "Worry is like a rocking chair; it keeps you busy, but gets you no where." Providing service to others will ultimately result in service to us all.
What is the most pressing internal or organizational issue facing NAMI today? What course of action do you suggest?
By recognizing, acknowledging and combining each others strengths and weaknesses we will reach our full potential to accomplish our NAMI mission. With knowledgeable intellectual honesty, we must demonstrate, as individuals, when to lead or follow.
We must educate ourselves to participate in "prudent risk taking" to advance and help our loved ones, each other and ultimately all of society to implement the solutions to recovery that we already know work and support development of new future methods.
Exposure to all states/affiliates’ best practices is needed, while understanding and maintaining sensitivity to liability. Reduce reinventing the wheel through affiliate/regional training, communications, more effective web membership and expanding harnessing the power of the web, administrative procedures, software awareness and delineation of voluminous email communication through the use of web forums, etc.
"I am quite aware that for any organization to reach its goals, one person must do the thinking and directing and generally bear the responsibility. But the led must not be coerced; they must be able to choose their leader. In my opinion, an autocratic system of coercion soon degenerates; force attracts people of low morality." Quoted from: Albert Einstein (1879-1955), whose Special Theory of Relativity was published 100 years ago, had two sons with his wife, Mileva. Hans (1904-73), a hydraulics engineer and professor at the
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