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In The News: National Alliance on Mental Illness – Iowa, Inc.

June 8, 2020
Emily Nelson


My name is Emily Nelson (she/her), and I’m working with NAMI Iowa this summer as their Communication and Events Intern. Although I’m originally from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, I’m a rising junior here in Des Moines at Drake University where I’m majoring in both Public Relations and Strategic Political Communications with a concentration in Women and Gender Studies.

During my time at Drake, you can find me singing in the Drake Choir,

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    The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) today released the following statement from CEO Daniel H. Gillison, Jr., regarding recent racist incidents across the country and their impact on mental health:

    “The effect of racism and racial trauma on mental health is real and cannot be ignored. The disparity in access to mental health care in communities of color cannot be ignored. The inequality and lack of cultural competency in mental health treatment cannot be ignored.

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    Ryan Nesbit is the Co-Director of the Alive & Running Iowa 5k for suicide prevention.  This event is in it’s 11th year in Dunkerton, Iowa.  He is past Co-Chair of the AFSP Iowa Chapter.  He is certified to teach the QPR and ASIST workshops.  He has been active as a suicide prevention volunteer for 11 years and recently transitioned to teaching workshops on suicide prevention/intervention.  Ryan is also trained to present NAMI’s “Ending the Silence” program.  He lives in Jesup with his wife of 18 years and their 3 children.

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    Ashley Parker (she/her/hers) is NAMI Iowa’s new Provider Program Coordinator, where she’ll be working towards developing and strengthening NAMI’s relationships with Iowa academic institutions, health systems, clinics, government entities, and nonprofits to market NAMI Provider training and recruit and train new Provider teachers.

    Prior to joining the NAMI Iowa staff, Ashley worked in the Iowa 2020 Caucuses and as a HIV Prevention Specialist for a non profit community health center, providing health education, testing and counseling services.

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    DES MOINES, Iowa – The executive director of the state’s leading mental health advocacy organization praised Gov. Kim Reynolds’ mention of creating a “dedicated and stable source” of funding for adult and children’s mental health services during her Condition of the State address today.

    “I was encouraged to hear again the governor’s care and concern for the tens of thousands of Iowans affected by mental illness, many of whom are now unable to get appropriate help,” said Peggy Huppert.

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    Nina Richtman recently joined NAMI Iowa as our new Program Manager. We are excited to have her on board as she has been involved with NAMI Iowa in various volunteer capacities for the last few years. Join us in welcoming Nina!

    Nina is the mother of two boys, ages 11 and 12, that she adopted from the Iowa Foster Care System. She comes from Corteva Agriscience (formerly Pioneer) where she worked in the Learning and Development group doing program management,

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