Micah Payne Pearson, C.P.S.W.

Micah Payne Pearson, C.P.S.W.
Nominated by NAMI Southern New Mexico (NM)
Member, NAMI Southern New Mexico (NM)
Listen to Micah's Candidate Speech

Specific Strengths and Attributes:

  • Diversity of age, race, ethnicity, language, experience and national geography
  • Knowledge of the philanthropic community and track record with donor cultivation
  • Experience with a variety of revenue models and financial oversight and management
  • Health care/medicine especially in team-based practice that provides integrated physical and mental health care
  • Criminal Justice experience, professional and/or lived, to provide insight into one of the central platforms of the NAMI 2020-2025 Strategic Plan

Job Title or Position:

  • Certified Peer Support Worker

NAMI Affiliations:

  • Member, Board of Directors, NAMI, 2017-present
  • Member, Board of Directors, NAMI Southern New Mexico, 2014-present (Secretary, 2014-2015; Vice President, 2015-2017; President 2017- Jan 2020)
  • Member, NAMI Peer Leadership Council, 2015-2017

NAMI Programs:

  • NAMI Peer-To-Peer; NAMI Provider Education; NAMI In Our Own Voice; NAMI Connection; NAMI Smarts for Advocacy; NAMI Speakers Bureau; NAMIWalks.

Other Board Service:

  • Member, Board of Directors, Cruces Creative Makerspace, 2018-2019
  • Member, Board of Directors Doña Ana County Local Behavioral Health Collaborative, 2015-2020
  • Member, Board of Directors New Mexico Communities in Action and Faith, 2013-2016

Relationship to Mental Health:

  • Individual with first-person experience of mental health Condition; Family member or direct/front-line support of someone with a mental health condition; Provider/mental health practitioner/employee in the field; Non-Profit Advocate

As a NAMI national and field advocate, I will bring my experience to the board and continue to push for the decriminalization of mental health in our communities. I will continue to push for the end of suspension of Medicaid benefits for persons in detention so there will be greater continuity of care upon return to the community to reduce the chance of relapse and recidivism. I will continue to fight for patient-centered treatment options for peers, regardless of their race/ethnicity or sexual orientation/gender identity.

I will continue to push for a wider array of diverse voices, both public-facing and within our own organization, with a focus on integrating awareness of the social determinants for health in our planning and implementation of programs. I will continue the work of standardizing and modernizing the NAMI Public Policy platform, to make it more accessible to our field advocates and a more practical tool in communicating our mission to elected officials and legislators.

Most importantly, I will continue to listen to the field and bring their voice to the boardroom, representing their concerns and needs to the best of my ability.

I have personally helped advance the NAMI mission in my community by increasing public awareness on NAMI's mission and our available program options, expanding staffing and integration of NAMI into public mental health programs. Worked with CIT International to develop best practices for Crisis Intervention Team training models. I also researched and Implemented web-based technologies to serve the mental health needs of our community during the pandemic crisis.

I work well in coordination with other leaders to accomplish goals as evidenced by the passing and implementation of the call for the banning gay conversion public policy – the first-ever NAMI public policy addressing the LGBTQ communities. We also developed an internal Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion council – with the goal of generating tools to address these needs across the alliance. The standardization of the public policy platform was also done in coordination with the advisory councils and national staff, fostering tighter relationships across the advocacy teams throughout the alliance.

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