Don Muller has been nominated by NAMI Utah. View the nomination letter from NAMI Utah. (pdf, opens in a 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 Don's answers below:
Why do you want to serve on the NAMI National board of directors?
- A long time personal and professional desire to improve services and circumstances for persons affected by mental illness and addictions disorders.
- A belief that I can make a difference.
- I think my position of advocacy has been strengthened through working with numerous state NAMI presidents and the NAMI National Leadership Council.
- I believe my relationships with other advocates and organizations can be of benefit to NAMI. Over the past six years, I have worked with provider associations in 40 states and also the executive directors of provider organizations in 35 states through my involvement as the Region VIII Board Member of the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare and their Council Public Policy and State Association Committees.
What financial management or fund raising expertise would you bring to the Board?
- Budgetary and program experience gained through twelve (12) years as CEO of Wasatch Mental Health Center with a budget of $14 million.
- Improved business practices and a grounding in professional ethics practices when becoming a mental health center director in 1988.I was hired as director where $3.5 million dollars had be embezzled by the prior administration.
- NAMI Utah board leadership experience over a six (6) year period in which the budget and revenues increased from $50,000 to $400,000
What is the most pressing public policy issue faci?ng NAMI members today? What course of action do you suggest?
- Potential reductions in mental health and addictive disorder services. Medicaid and Medicare policy and funding is at great risk of reduction by the US Congress as well as by state governors. NAMI national and state organizations must work with a coalition of advocacy organizations to ensure that NAMI has significant influence on the actions of congress and other policy makers.
- Housing supports for mentally disabled persons are under attack and being reduced. These policy actions are threatening disruption of safe and affordable housing for the mentally ill. NAMI national and state organizations must work with a coalition of advocacy organizations to ensure that NAMI has significant influence on the actions of congress and other policy makers.
- State and Local NAMI affiliates are face challenges in funding educational, advocacy and support programs. NAMI National must continue to provide knowledge through leadership education, technical assistance and support, and revenue producing strategies to help local leaders be effective in developing necessary resources for local advocacy, education, and programs.
What brought you to NAMI – and what is most valuable to you about your participation in the NAMI movement?
- Attendance, in 1988, to my first National NAMI Convention forever changed my perception regarding “why NAMI Advocacy”. From that date forward I embraced family and consumer support and education. Since then I have committed both my time and resources to NAMI.
- As social worker and mental health center director I thought it was my responsibility to be involved in NAMI Utah advocacy.
What is the most pressing internal or organizational issue facing NAMI today? What course of action do you suggest?
- Revenue for NAMI programs is and will continue to be the most pressing organizational issue facing national, state and local NAMI organizations. A quote often heard in charitable causes states “no money no mission”. I believe that it is the fiduciary responsibility of all NAMI boards to devote a significant portion of their effort to the funding of the NAMI core mission of advocacy, education, and support. I believe in exploring every option for funding, including legislative, foundations, individuals, and events such as the NAMI Walk. Volunteers will always be the single most valuable resource for NAMI.