Family Training Coordinator
Hi! I am Frederick Douglas and family is extremely important to me. I am the mother of 3 beautiful daughters, the grandmother of 5, and great grandmother of 6. I began this journey supporting my daughter who was experiencing emotional and behavioral mental health challenges. She was diagnosed with Bi-Polar disorder at the early age of 5. I was overwhelmed with questions. What is Bi-Polar Disorder? What did I do to cause my daughter to act this way? Who can help us? After what seemed to be forever of trying to figure out what to do, I was finally connected to a grant that had a non-traditional approach to supporting families. This was my first introduction to System of Care. My daughter was not seen as a client that needed to be fixed and my family was not seen as a problem that needed to be solved. We were invited to be a part of a process that valued our thoughts about what worked best for “our family”. My family learned more about the mental health delivery system through this process, and we were able to share our views about some of the barriers to the system that were not really meeting the specific needs of families. We sat on both locals. State and national committees participated as co-presenters in training and even assisted in developing and participating as faculty in a system of care multidisciplinary course at UNCG. I have over 30 years of experience in training and supporting families within the principles of youth-led and family-driven care. I truly believe that the voices of the families being served must lead the decision-making process in service delivery and that it is a vital component of mental wellness. I currently serve as the Certified Family Training Coordinator with the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Some of my National and community accomplishments are Nationally Certified Family Peer Specialist, recipient of the National Federation of Families ‘Jane Adams Award for Peer Support in 2017, an ordained Elder and Pastor of a nonprofit “Faith in Community Ministries” in Greensboro NC, Bachelor of Arts in Communications at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. But my greatest contribution and accomplishment is using the experiences and lessons that I have learned in supporting my own family to support other families who also face the challenges associated with mental illness.