Team Strong 365
Chantel Garrett founded Strong 365, a project of One Mind, to ensure that more people get the right kind of help and support for mental health concerns earlier – when it matters most.
As supporter and advocate for her brother who lives with schizophrenia, Chantel’s work merges a personal passion with her career as a seasoned corporate marketer to drive radical change in the way we view brain health and how we access care.
Chantel extends her passion for wellness by teaching yoga and mindfulness in under-served communities. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, two daughters, one dog and five chickens, and can be found @Chantel and on LinkedIn.
National Youth Leadership Board
Strong 365’s Youth Leaders guide strategy and content for the project and help create a welcoming, safe community by sharing their stories of finding strength through struggle. This team is the engine and inspiration behind our efforts to connect young people to the support and treatment they deserve.
Syrena Clark grew up in small-town Maine and was diagnosed with Schizophrenia at age 21. Her diagnosis has since changed to Schizoaffective Disorder to accommodate for her manic and depressive episodes. After taking a break from school she’s back studying Public Health at Husson University. Her goal is to become an advocate for people with psychosis as they navigate the mental healthcare system. She is an author, writing for TheMighty, Vice, and Conscious Magazine. She has her own blog: Acceptance & Antipsychotics.
Bay Area native Brandon Chuang is a graduate student in Clinical Psychology at UC Berkeley pursuing his PhD. His research interests involve understanding the neural and behavioral mechanisms of social cognition and emotion. In addition to serving on the National Youth Leadership Board for Strong 365, Brandon uses his personal experience with psychosis as an volunteer educator and advocate with San Francisco NAMI. Brandon has spoken to local and national audiences about his personal story and his research.
Aakash Desai had his life settled and focused on what he wanted to do with it, but then was stricken with a psychosis at age 31 after years of depression/anxiety with no apparent trigger. After onset, it took finding the right medication, support networks, yoga, probiotics, and vitamins for 4-5 years to get him to the level of health he’s at now. Aakash even lost all of his severe food allergies! He never lost sight of wanting to get healthy and it has paid dividends since onset.
Andrew Echeguren grew up in San Francisco, describing his upbringing as “all-American; happy go lucky.” He experienced psychosis as a high schooler, and after an initial hospitalization, received treatment at UCSF’s early intervention program. After finding recovery, Andrew went on to graduate in Spanish Literature at Occidental College, and recently began a career in communications at WCG in San Francisco.
Andrew’s story has been featured on PBS Newshour, and he has spoken about his experience at local and national conferences. He wants young people to know that they are not alone, and that support is available.
Christine Marie Frey is the International Award-Winning Author of Brain XP: Living with Mental Illness, A Young Teenager’s Perspective, the first mental health book written by a teenager. Christine started showing signs of anxiety, depression, and psychosis at age 12. Her isolation led her to create the Brain XP Project. Brain XP provides hope to youth battling mental challenges, letting them know that they are not alone, they are not crazy, but rather their minds are special, with greater creativity, empathy, and insight – their brains are expanded: BRAIN XP! Christine is an engaging public speaker, musical recording artist and mental health activist.
Ryan is a recent graduate from the University of Texas at Austin who will be pursuing a medical degree in the near future. At the moment, she uses her experiences growing up in a medically underserved area to advocate for children and young people who — because of location, socioeconomic status, stigma, or other factors — do not have access to the medical care and mental health services they deserve. She is works at a center for children with developmental delays and/or chronic illness, and she volunteers in a lab whose mission it is to expand the use of empirically supported practices in youth mental health clinics. You can find her on Twitter at @jryanhuff.
Carlos A. Larrauri R.N., B.S.N.
Carlos A. Larrauri R.N., B.S.N. serves on the Board of Directors for NAMI Miami-Dade County. Diagnosed with schizophrenia at 23 years of age, maintenance on a low-dose medication regimen, along with a holistic approach emphasizing diet, exercise and adequate sleep, afforded him the best opportunity for recovery. He is currently earning a master’s degree for practice as a family nurse practitioner and plans on on pursuing further graduate education for practice as a psychiatric nurse practitioner. He aspires to interface clinical practice, health policy and research, to reduce health inequities for people living with mental illness. Mr. Larrauri is excited be part of the Strong 365’s Youth Leadership Board. Providing forum for the voices of youth living in recovery will help transform the discourse on mental illness and stop the stigma. Learn more about Carlos and his work on his website.
Amanda Lipp graduated from the University of California, Davis, in 2014. She runs her own business, working as a consultant and multi-media artist with local to national level agencies and federal grants across the United States. She is a board member on various mental health organizations, and speaks publicly around the nation to raise mental health awareness and inspire innovative systems change. Learn more about Amanda and her work on her website.
Tiffany Martinez, PMHNP-BC
Tiffany Martinez lives in Maine and works as a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner. Tiffany was fortunate to get effective treatment and support at an early psychosis program shortly after experiencing the first signs as a college freshman at the age of 17. In addition to her own personal experience, she has the perspective of a daughter of a father who lives with schizophrenia. Tiffany’s inspiring story has been featured in USA Today. Learn more about Tiffany’s experience with treatment and recovery.
McKian is based in Southern California, where he is a psychology student at California State University Northridge. He has experience as a Certified Peer Specialist and NAMI teacher, facilitator and speaker. He also serves as an Advisory Board member and chair of the Transitional Aged Youth Committee for the Ventura County Behavioral Health system. In that role, McKian had a hand in advocating for early intervention services for psychosis in Ventura County. He is a strong advocate for early intervention because he believes he would have benefitted from getting help earlier.
A graduate of Emory University with a deep passion for public health and social justice, Anh is currently a Public Health Associate with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 2014, Anh interned with The Carter Center’s Mental Health Program, where she researched state policies and behavioral health interventions for youth considered status offenders. In addition, she performed a literature review to inform the mental health response in Liberia following the Ebola outbreak and helped coordinate The 30th Annual Rosalynn Carter Symposium on Mental Health Policy. Anh has also worked with a crisis intervention center and refugee mental health organization. First serving as Strong 365’s Volunteer Outreach & Operations Coordinator, Anh is excited to be a part of the Youth Leadership Board and bring her passion for youth health and well-being by connecting young people to mental health care.
Adam Swanson, MPP
Adam Swanson, MPP, is dedicated to public health equity. He helps state governments, health care organizations and universities improve the quality of care for people in crisis as the senior prevention specialist at the Suicide Prevention Resource Center. Adam has served on international expert panels to address minority health disparities, and managed national programs to help behavioral health organizations adopt new treatment services for youth with serious mental illnesses. In U.S. Senate, he helped advance anti-bullying legislation and HIV/AIDS reforms. Adam is a former Mental Health America fellow. You can find him on Twitter @AdamDSwanson.
A U.C Berkeley, Haas School of Business graduate, Kelly Wilson began her career in the accounting industry at Pricewaterhouse Coopers. After being diagnosed with Schizophreniform, she changed career direction to focus on making a difference in the mental health field. Kelly is working with NAMI San Francisco in the Ending the Silence Campaign. She visits Bay Area high schools, sharing her story and giving Mental Health presentations. She hopes to attend graduate school in Fall 2018, studying Counseling/Marriage Family Therapy.
We also recognize a number of talented Leadership Board members who lead Strong 365 from behind the scenes.
Thank you for all that you do.