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, family and your community!
Krissy Dristy, Youth Peer Support and Parent Support Partner Program Manager
Hi, I’m Krissy Dristy! In my role at ACMH, I help oversee our peer delivered services for youth and families. In partnership with the staff at ACMH, I provide training and technical assistance to Youth Peer Support Specialists, Partner Support Partners and supervisors around the state. I am passionate about the importance of lived experience in our public mental health system, and the difference our stories can make when supporting youth and families to find their voice. I love talking about how YPS and PSP enhance our service array in Michigan, and I am very fortunate to be able to do this regularly in my work!
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 Statewide Coordinator
Hello! My name is Sara Reynolds and I am the Statewide Coordinator for Youth Peer Support. I lead the Youth Peer Support training and certification model by facilitating trainings, coaching calls, and technical assistance as well as heading up our continued development of the model. As a person with my own lived experience with mental health challenges, I am passionate about Youth Peer Support – particularly the hope and empowerment that is at the core of this unique service. I believe that we are extremely fortunate to have such a powerful support available to youth in Michigan and I am so pleased to be able to partner with the Youth Peer Support Specialists and their supervisors across the state who are truly making a difference.
Favorite piece of wisdom: “We rise by lifting others”
Kelly Bailey, Parent Support Partner 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.
Margo Pierce, Parent Support Partner Specialist Photo coming soon
My role will be to support the PSP model and service by preparing for and conducting trainings, providing coaching support, and assisting with technical assistance and professional development meetings for both new and recertifying PSPs. I also assist with the orientation and evaluation processes, training events, refinements to training materials, technical assistance, and other materials and processes.
Favorite piece of wisdom: You will absolutely get through this and come out on the other side.
Lisa Romero, Family Training/Empowerment Specialist
In my role as Family Training/Empowerment Specialist I strive to support parent and caregiver voice and perspectives for supervisors and other providers within the children/youth mental health care system by providing trainings, coaching and technical assistance. Primary topics for my work will include creation of a crisis tool kit as well as training on supporting a peer continuum. I support and believe parents/caregivers working together with providers using a Family Driven/Youth Guided Care Approach will strengthen family voice and provide an effective care plan for our kids. I look forward to growing/facilitating the Parent Advocacy Committee. I feel it is extremely important for parents/caregivers to know that they do have a voice and can be involved in decision making boards and bodies. I strongly believe in effective family advocacy. As a parent of a child in the mental health care system I believe families should have access to all the support and services entitled to them.
Favorite piece of wisdom:
Enlightened leadership is spiritual if we understand spirituality not as some kind of religious dogma or ideology but as the domain of awareness where we experience values like truth, goodness, beauty, love and compassion, and also intuition, creativity, insight and focused attention. – Deepak Chopra
Mandy Gernand, Administrative Assistant for YPS and PSP
In my role as Administrative Assistant for YPS and PSP I provide office support for all ACMH staff by maintaining records, helping to prepare for training sessions, and anything else asked of me.
Favorite piece of wisdom: It’s a slow process, but quitting won’t speed it up.
Mary Porter, Business Manager photo coming soon