jacobs Dr. Sheldon A. Jacobs

Nominated by NAMI Southern Nevada
Member, NAMI Southern Nevada
Listen to Sheldon'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
  • Criminal Justice

Job Title or Position:

  • Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

NAMI Leadership Experience:

  • NAMI Southern Nevada Board of Directors (Vice President, 2 years; Member, 2.5 years)

Additional NAMI Involvement:

  • NAMI In Our Own Voice, NAMI Sharing Hope, NAMI Advocacy, NAMI Speakers Bureau
  • Town Hall events

Other Board Service:

  • Nevada Board of Examiners for MFT's and CPC's (Member, 2019-present)
  • Hope Means Nevada Board (Member, 1 year)
  • INSPIR3 Advisory Board (Member, 3 years)
  • CRYME (Vice President, 1 year)

Relationship to Mental Health:

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

Candidate Strengths Assessment

The candidate indicated they have experience in the following areas that will help NAMI achieve its mission and strategic goals:

  • Adult Education, Advocacy, Business/Nonprofit Administration, Business/Nonprofit Leadership, Criminal Justice, Mental Health Service/Support, Research/Academia

Estimated years of experience in the above areas:

  • Adult Education - 8 years
  • Criminal Justice - 7 years
  • Advocacy - 12 years
  • Business/Nonprofit Administration - 9 years
  • Business/Nonprofit Leadership - 7 years
  • Mental Health Service/Support - 16 years
  • Research/Academia - 10 years


The candidate indicated they have connections and networks in the following areas:

  • Criminal Justice, Legal/Law, Lobbying, Military/Veterans, Politics/Elected Officials, Social Media, Traditional Media

Additional information about the connections and networks:

  • I am local media consultant on matters pertaining to mental health. I also have a lot of connections in the legal, political and military/veteran’s strata. I also have worked extensively within criminal justice and have a lot of connections that are federal, municipal, and chief justices in addition to a number of district attorney's and public defenders.

Candidate Leadership Style

The candidate indicated the following descriptors represent their leadership style:

  • Action-oriented, Data Driven, Decisive, Devil's Advocate, Innovator, Peacemaker, Team Player

Candidate Narrative

I am a Black male in my early 40's. I am a licensed MFT who has worked in the juvenile justice and child welfare sectors as a clinician, worked in group homes for severely mentally ill patients, provided clinical oversight to youth in residential treatment centers (RTC's) across the nation, and treated patients from all walks of life. Nevada ranks next to last in mostly all mental health metrics and my hope is that if I am elected, I would be able to help elevate Nevada as a leader in mental health. I am connected with several notable philanthropists in the Southern Nevada region and I am skilled at cultivating relationships, which would be essential at the national board level. Lastly, I have worked directly within the juvenile justice setting for seven years and as an advocate for youth in the juvenile justice system, for over 12 years. In the adult criminal justice system, I am familiar with the specialty courts that have developed nationwide over the past decade as a result of many of my current and past patients being involved in the criminal justice system at various levels. During this experience, I have learned that many of the powers that be within the system including judges, police officers, public defenders and district attorneys, still do not understand mental health and the conditions many individuals that enter the system struggle with. I have found that a lot of my work has centered on the advocacy side in spreading awareness.

I personally have helped advance the NAMI mission in my community by relentlessly advocating for individuals with mental health conditions at the federal and state legislative levels; advocating for individuals with mental health conditions to remain out of the justice system and spreading awareness within underserved communities.

I work well in coordination with other leaders to accomplish goals as evidenced by the creation of mental health legislation that I have supported that has addressed some of the gaps in the mental health system within the state of Nevada. I also created a coalition comprised of clinicians of color to address the lack of people of color in the field of mental health. With this coalition, more people of color have been recruited into the field of mental health, which has led to more people of color seeking services.

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