Why do you serve as a CIP? My family's journey has been very challenging and I am choosing to tell our family's lived experiences so it may light the way for other families and hopefully inspire change to Children's mental health system in Wisconsin.
Why is it important? Serving as a parent voice is vital to help decision makers who do not live with the reality of raising children with mental health challenges and disabilities, and how we navigate the systems that serve us. Our trials and triumphs give valuable insight to the fidelity of the children's mental health system.
How has serving as a CIP made a difference in your local area or as a provider? Since I have been serving as a CIP, I have used my voice and my lived experiences to help other families find resources, help my community understand the needs of other families going through similar challenges. I have built relationships that help many families and facilitate the building of many bridges from what the state is doing to what my community is doing.
What is one personal goal?
One of my goals is to reach out and support other parents, providers, agencies, educators, first responders,
churches, and businesses who touch the lives of children of all abilities,
to support their best possible outcome. My desire is
with more knowledge and teamwork our community can achieve a better environment to support children and
families with mental health challenges.
What is your number one goal for systems change?
My number one goal would be that family's voices are more widely accepted, and that children with mental health
challenges would be prioritized in our state; [and that mental health is] treated as brain health. I would also like families who need resources
and supports to have access to quality, timely, well-qualified providers, who are able to respond in a disability-friendly way, meeting each child and family's immediate safety and long-term unique needs.