My job as Executive Director is to make sure family voice is heard and understood in a variety of settings- local communities, state offices, collaborations with other agencies, and with legislators. I often find myself acting as a ‘connector’- making sure that families have the opportunity to connect to each other or to ACMH, or facilitating conversations between different agencies or collaborative bodies. I believe that real conversations and relationships are the path to better lives for kids and families.
Favorite piece of wisdom:
Reaching out and asking for support isn’t a sign of weakness- it’s a sign of strength. And sometime, you’ll have the opportunity to be a support for someone else.
In my role as Education Coordinator I provide information and training to parents, youth and community partners across Michigan and coordinate statewide training and events including the ACMH Conference. I also participate in community education & events to help raise awareness about the issues of children and youth with mental health challenges and their families. I am also a certified Youth Mental Health First Aid Trainer. One of my favorite activities is hosting ACMH Parent and Youth Leadership Camp where I have the opportunity and privilege to meet and share information and skills with so many passionate & gifted future family leaders!
Favorite piece of wisdom/Quote:
“Be generous, be delicate, and always pursue the prize.”– Henry James I think this piece of wisdom can be especially helpful to you along your journey of advocating for your child, yourself, your family and your community!
Krissy Dristy, Youth Youth Peer Support Statewide Coordinator
I support youth and families by training young people with SED to provide support to their peers. Navigating the system while managing a mental health challenge can be a scary and lonely experience at times. Youth Peer Support Partners can relate and can help by providing direct support and assisting with information and skill building.
In addition to overseeing the training model for Youth Peer Support, I also help support efforts and opportunities for youth involvement in the state of Michigan.
Favorite piece of wisdom:
Trust the process. When you are going through hard times remember who you are, where you are going and how far you have come. It may be a bad day, but it’s not a bad life!
Sara Reynolds, Youth Peer Support Lead Trainer photo coming soon
Together with Krissy Dristy, I am heading up the development of the Youth Peer Support training curriculum, and facilitating the training. My hope is that the curriculum and training that we develop will help to empower Youth Peer Support Specialists, and the peers that they serve, to find their own voices and to be heard.
I was once a youth struggling with a serious emotional disturbance. Now I am an adult leading a joyful, and fulfilling life. Not a life without struggle, but a life I am grateful for every day. I am also a Certified Peer Support Specialist, college student, big sister, daughter, and friend.
Favorite piece of wisdom:
“You can not let a fear of failure or a fear of comparison or a fear of judgement stop you from doing the things that will make you great. You can not succeed without the risk of failure. You can not have a voice without the risk of criticism. You can not love without the risk of loss. You must take these risks.”
– Charlie Day
Kelly Bailey, Parent Support Partner Project Statewide Coordinator
I provide all of the training, technical support and assistance to Parent Support Parters, PSP Supervisors and Agencies who employ Parent Support Partners across the state. I am also a mom and a grandmother.
Favorite piece of wisdom: Where there is love, there is hope.
I have worked at ACMH since 1996. I was originally hired to work from home transcribing letters. My Administrative Assistant job title has included a lot of different duties over the years as our organization has evolved. I currently work out of our state office in Lansing assisting with the Parent Support Partner training & certification program as well providing office support. I also serve in the unofficial role of “accidental techie” for all things computer related.
I have one husband, two kids and one very AWESOME God…life is good!
Jamie Osga , Parent Support Partner, Shiawassee County photo coming soon
My role as a Parent Support Partner is to bring my personal experience and knowledge to empower families and give them the support and the hope that they need and deserve. I am here to let families know that they are not alone in their journey parenting a child with a disability. I also help families set goals and help them identify strategies to accomplish those goals. I help educate about school systems, services and resources in the community. I attend meetings with parents such as IEP’s, appointments at DHS and CHM, or family/juvenile court.
I am happily married to my husband with two boys. My oldest son is on the Autism Spectrum and has completed the ABA program at CMH. My youngest son was born with a bi-lateral cleft lip and palate, which requires many surgeries. Even though they both face many obstacles they are able to get through anything!
I don’t talk about Autism for sympathy or pity. I talk about it to open a door into our lives, to help others understand, to educate, and build acceptance for children and adults living with Autism. It’s easy to read about Autism, it’s a different story to live it.
Favorite piece of wisdom I like to share with youth or their families: “Why fit in when you were born to stand out”- Dr. Seuss
Marrissa Lab, Youth Peer Support Specialist, Shiawassee County photo coming soon
My role will be to support youth to feel empowered, and gain skills as well as grow personally during the time we spend together. I will be a key support that some youth do not have, which will in turn support the families to have healthier relationships. My role will help community partners with getting youth more involved in their communities to learn about who and what is in their communities.
Other things to know about me: I am very passionate about a few things, domestic violence and sexual assault, as well as Youth Peer. I seek experiences that will challenge me, and love the opportunities I have gained from doing so.
Favorite piece of wisdom I like to share: You can only do the best you can with what you have at the time, whether it with or without having knowledge, financial resources, assistance etc. You learn from every situation you are in, and the knowledge that comes with that helps you do better in future situations.
Mary Porter, Business Manager photo coming soon