NoStigmas is a global non-profit movement utilizing Peer-2-Peer connections to promote mental wellness and prevent suicide. Our unique individual approach provides education, support systems and access to mental health resources at no cost. We empower a community of mental wellness through inspiring events, dynamic public speakers and stories of hope.
The mission of NoStigmas is to raise awareness and erase the stigmas about suicide and mental illness by educating the general public about mental health, helping those affected by mental illness, and sharing inspiring stories of hope. We aim to aid the growth of this understanding and foster a community environment in which individuals with mental illness are able seek treatment with the support of those near to them. We understand that this general shift in thinking regarding mental health begins with a change of perspective on the individual level. Our methodology is to recruit and educate individuals, known as Stigma Erasers, who become advocates for understanding through their day-to-day interactions. We aim to further break down stereotypes by means of a public forum called The NoStigmas Project, in which Stigma Erasers share their stories of hope and recovery in order to promote understanding and inspire those who are struggling to find their own path of healing.
NoStigmas began in 2007 as a grassroots movement to unify those touched by suicide & mental illness with the common knowledge that they are not alone and to change the public’s generally negative perception of those touched by suicide & mental illness.
In 2011, NoStigmas received 501(c)(3) Public Charity status from the IRS and continues to uphold the rigorous standards set by GuideStar. 2012 brought about significant growth and the launch of the NoStigmas Center. At that time, we also began development of our Peer-2-Peer Mentorship program, which matches an individual with lived experiences to another currently experiencing a similar set of circumstances.
Jacob Moore, U.S. Founder
Jacob Moore is an actor, public speaker and the founder of NØSTIGMAS U.S. Having lost his birth-father, Michael D. Moore to suicide at age 7, Jacob grew up plagued by questions and anxiety. In high school Jacob developed panic disorder and eventually clinical depression. Throughout his 20's he struggled to find solutions with 6 different medical professionals and 20 various combinations of pharmaceutical drugs.
Finally he started seeking relief through more holistic means, including nutrition, fitness and counseling. Growing up in an open home and as an actor, Jacob began speaking up about his experiences and encouraging others to do the same. The movement grew and in 2007, Jacob established NØSTIGMAS as an organization, which became recognized as a 501(c)(3) non-profit charity in 2012.
Jacob has written extensively and speaks regularly on the topics of mental wellness and suicide prevention. He splits his time between Chicago and Los Angeles.
Inquire about speaking engagements and appearances here.
Ray Folkins is the Founder and CEO of NØSTIGMAS Canada. He is also CEO & President of P4 Bottomline Inc. Ray attended Dalhouse University in Halifax, Nova Scotia where he obtained his MBA in Entrepreneurship, International Business and Leadrship. He also performed his Postdoctoral Studies at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec and obtained a BSc Mathematics and Computer Science from Dalhousie University.
Anthony Hammes is a 2004 graduate of the University of Iowa and joined the NØSTIGMAS Board of Directors in 2010 where he currently serves as our Vice President. An active member on Chicago's social scene, Hammes annually hosts events that support the Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence and has been an avid supporter of Human Rights causes posing for the NoH8 Campaign and the I AM EQUAL Project. Professionally, Hammes commands the post of Vice President and Chief of Staff of an international finance firm in Chicago's financial district. His first memoir, Poise: A Collection of Essays is slated for release in late 2015. Hammes resides in the tony River North district of downtown Chicago.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Michael Slovitt is a Chicago native who attended the University of Michigan where he obtained a bachelor degree in Political Science and played four years of collegiate golf. He currently is a commercial mortgage banker at Berkadia. His role within NØSTIGMAS is the development of the peer support program. He lost his father to suicide at age 18 and has since been on the path of survivorship.
Maria Trakas currently works for the law firm of Ferrentino & Sarikas, LLC, primarily working with clients on immigration issues. Prior to this role, Maria interned with Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement Office of the Principal Legal Advisor, managed Executive Education (non-credit and E-MBA) programs for Loyola University Chicago’s Graduate School of Business (now Quinlan School of Business) and worked for Arthur Andersen, LLP. She holds degrees in English Literature (B.A., DePaul University), Education (M.Ed., Loyola University Chicago), and Law (J.D. and Certificate in Comparative and International Law, DePaul University).
Maria has been involved as a volunteer with several organizations for many years, primarily those dedicated to education and international issues. Learning about the struggles of family and friends has prompted her to educate herself about mental illness. Maria hopes to use her education and skills to raise awareness and help to educate others, ultimately erasing the stigmas often associated with mental illness.
Michael Trammell is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with over 20 years of experience in the Behavioral Health field and 12 years in the clinical practice of Psychotherapy. He works full time for a Behavioral Health and Addictions Hospital in Chicago and maintains an independent practice in which he counsels adult individuals and couples. Michael seeks to increase the awareness of suicide and suicide prevention and to decrease stigma surrounding seeking mental health and addictions treatment. Michael is proud to be a new Director on the board with NoStigmas.org
Michelle Heyland, MSN, APN, PMHNP-BC, is a board certified Family Psychiatric and Mental Health Nurse Practioner. She sees individuals with mental illness at a community mental health agency and is faculty at Rush University's College of Nursing in the Community, Systems, and Mental Health Nursing Department. She has experience in research and has presented at national conferences particularly on emergency department diversion for individuals in mental health crisis. She is also pursuing her Doctor of Nursing Practice degree at Rush University..
WELLNESS ADVISORY COUNCIL
Stephanie is a Licensed Professional Counselor and a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor in the State of Illinois. She received her Master’s in Counseling from DePaul University, and her clinical experience includes addictions treatment, inpatient psychiatric care, community mental health services, and private practice. Stephanie is currently the Mental Health First Aid Manager at the Community Counseling Centers of Chicago, and she owns a mental health and wellness coaching business. Her mission is to create positive change by empowering people to improve their lives and the lives of others. Stephanie shares NoStigmas’ vision for mental health equality and is excited to support this vital cause.
Sarah Farwick is the Program Director of two Adult Intensive Treatment Units at Chicago Lakeshore Hospital. As the Program Director, her duties include providing evidence based practice programming, implementing customer service initiatives and developing performance improvement projects. Ms. Farwick obtained her BSN and MSN from Indiana University, specializing as a psychiatric nurse practitioner. Ms. Farwick has experience in adult and child psychiatric nursing. She is a member of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association, NAMI and is certified in CPI. She is passionate about participating in community projects and events that bring awareness to and eliminate the stigmas of mental illness.
Sara Buxton is the Director of the Center for Behavioral Medicine and Sport Psychology in Chicago. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor and a Sport Psychology Consultant in the State of Illinois. She specializes in health and sport psychology helping individuals- in athletics, career, or life in general- enhance performance and improve their overall well-being. Her goal is to help individuals achieve their most challenging barriers, overcome set backs, and transition into the life they enjoy. A former athlete herself, she believes active and healthy living hold healing powers for positive self growth and life experience.
The Wellness Advisory Council is a collaborative of wellness professionals with expertise related to mental health. This diverse team may consist of mental health professionals, physicians, nutritionists, fitness experts, and holistic practitioners whose purpose is to discover mental wellness best-practices for our constituents.
[toggle title="Learn More and Apply"] Description
NoStigmas is a federally recognized 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded in 2007 by actor and public speaker, Jacob Moore. The mission of NoStigmas is to raise awareness and erase the stigmas about suicide and mental illness by sharing stories of hope & inspiration, educating the general public about mental health, and helping those affected by mental illness.
The Wellness Advisory Council is a collaborative of health and wellness professionals whose purpose is to utilize their expertise and knowledge of wellness best practices to advise the Board of Directors in the development of effective and ethical programs for the NoStigmas community. Wellness Advisory Council Members serve and support our mission by providing their professional expertise, knowledge of constituent perspectives, and connections to resources, organizations, colleagues or peers. The Advisory Council has no governing function within the organization.
• Provide important professional expertise based on specific area of practice
• Stay informed about latest trends and empirical evidence related to mental health and wellness practices
• Utilize professional networks to increase support of and raise awareness of NoStigmas
• Stay informed about the plans, activities and needs of the organization
Wellness Advisory Council Members are expected to attend a minimum of four meetings each year as well as occasional special events and gatherings. Council Members are requested to serve on at least one committee, i.e. events, community outreach, peer support development, etc. Additionally, there will be regular communications and occasional votes by email or telephone, and it is expected that members respond within 24 business hours whenever possible. It is anticipated that this appointment will require approximately 10 volunteer hours per month.
Interested parties should submit a professional resume and brief cover letter outlining his or her wellness methodology to firstname.lastname@example.org.