Friday, June 14, 2024



Monday Minute with Haniel Tracey

April 22, 2024 Category: Q&A

What do our leaders and institutions need to do to ensure that communities have pathways to well-paid jobs and income equality, opportunities for entrepreneurship, and access to quality education for all?


“I believe that first hearing everyone’s voices is super important just knowing what people want. What there were there is a lack of resources, a lack of community, a lack of services. So I would definitely say it’s just like coming community members coming together organizations who have that power and influence to, you know, meet certain needs them actually listening and seeing like the ground work like, okay, what are you trying to do? What is the initiative? What’s the purpose of it? How can we help and aid in that? So I think that is super important to just hear everyone’s voices, and to see like, where they can help how we can come together.”


What does NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) do to empower communities?


“One thing we do is we empower through advocacy, and there’s a huge stigma when it comes to mental health and mental illness. And honestly, like that has improved in the past years, but there is still that, you know, weird feeling about talking about it, or expressing your story and seeing it as in a more positive light. And that is not a defect, there are like certain gifts with that. And when we come together and change the stigma of it, I believe that it can be super empowering and for recovery as well to know that this is not something that I have to be shameful about. This is something that happens to a lot of people, trauma environments, and it’s definitely systemic as well. So I think that just with mental illness, there’s a lot that plays along with it, and within like environments and systems. So I think just like knowing the ins and outs of why we have this issue of like rise in depression and anxiety, and how can we look at it and change it on all levels. So I would say one thing we do is to try to, like, have conversations, know what the needs are. So with our support groups, it’s literally to just have a group of people coming together, sharing their stories, supporting each other, and as a leader, just trying to have that space, create space for that to happen, and encourage people to …blossom and do whatever they want and feel like it’s not something that is limited because of certain conditions. “

From our Partners


Haniel Tracey is the Volunteer and Community Outreach Coordinator at NAMI Montgomery County



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