22 May Michele’s Journey into NAMI Seattle
By Mychael Hodges
Edited By, Cameron Safai, Marc Cisneros, Sarah Jensen, Nicolle Osborn
UW Bothell School of Business
“Supporting NAMI Seattle on the board with my time and talents makes me feel like I’m helping others on their own journeys through mental illness and recovery… and, selfishly, makes me feel less alone,” said the Vice President of the Board of Directors of NAMI Seattle, Michele Moore.
I met Michele a few weeks ago, and was immediately drawn into to her warm and compassionate personality.
Michele has been living with generalized anxiety disorder for the last eight years. Her anxiety causes physical pain and feelings of panic, coupled with hyper-vigilance. NAMI Seattle gives her a supportive environment where she is not alone in her pain and anxiety. This is the most important part of the healing process. Because of Michele’s extensive experience in business, with an MBA from The University of Washington, and a strong ability to work with others, she was elected as Vice President after only working for NAMI Seattle for two years. At the beginning of the interview I noticed that she sounded a tad bit nervous, but after a while she really opened up and the conversation just flowed. I see why she was elected as Vice President.
Michele’s Experience with NAMI
Michele was compelled to join NAMI Seattle in 2016 because of her compassion for helping the homeless. She saw the crisis growing in the Seattle region and wanted to help make a difference. The best part is that her contribution to NAMI Seattle is making a bigger change than she could have ever expected. She volunteers for West Seattle Helpline, a non-profit that Provides emergency financial assistance to help prevent homelessness. In Michele’s words, “This helps prevent homelessness before it happens by assisting with rent and utilities to keep people in their houses”. She also added, “I also wanted to connect with a group in my newly adopted neighborhood of West Seattle, so it was a perfect fit.”
I asked Michele about her favorite program in NAMI Seattle and she started telling me about In Our Own Voice. In Our Own Voice is a program that brings volunteers in to do presentations for the community to spread the awareness of mental illness, intertwined with changing societal stigmas around it. “By becoming a member of NAMI Seattle or donating, the community can make sure that every organization, company, or group that wants to have a presentation can. Stories are our most powerful weapon against stigma and that is what In Our Own Voice provides- stories of strength, struggle, and recovery”, said Michele.
It was truly my honor to interview Michele Moore. She is a pillar in our community and her background and strength brings hope for anyone who crosses her path.
Although many of NAMI Seattle’s efforts are organized by community program leaders like Michele and my professor Board Treasurer Laura Umetsu, it takes many volunteers and donations to keep NAMI Seattle strong and growing.
To become involved in NAMI Seattle’s programs, like In Our Own Voice, visit NAMI’s volunteer page. NAMI Seattle offers an individual membership program which asks for an annual payment of $40. NAMI Seattle also offers other membership programs such as the Household Membership which asks for an annual payment of $60. There is another option called Open Door Membership which asks for a minimum contribution of $5 annually. All contributions are used to extend NAMI Seattle’s reach in our community. Memberships are included in NAMI’s national, state, and local affiliate level. If you would like to volunteer for NAMI Seattle submit a volunteer application located on NAMI Seattle’s website.