Ernie Reynolds, advocate extraordinaire!

We are proud to share that Ernie Reynolds was one of the featured speakers at the Michigan Association of Community Mental Health Boards fall conference. Ernie is a Certified Peer Support Specialist at Northern Lakes and has a great deal of experience with public speaking and advocacy.

Ernie has oftentimes been heard to say that if he can help just one person each day, it was a good day.  This presentation, and the many other presentations he has made in his advocacy career, was extremely effective and helped many, many people – so it must have been a tremendous day for Ernie!

He spoke for an hour and a half to a standing-room-only group of CMH board members and other mental health professionals and did a fabulous job. His workshop, called Foundations: Intended Beneficiary Command, qualified the attendees to receive 1.5 Continuing Education Unit hours of study.

He focused on the public policy expectations of intended beneficiaries (people who receive services from a CMH) from the community system through the examination and exploration of the following:

  1. Relationship between the Board and community and individual beneficiaries;
  2. Opportunities and strategies for promoting and supporting individual beneficiaries in leadership, administrative, management and in the provision of supports, services, care and treatment;
  3. Opportunities and strategies for promoting and supporting community and individuals in community assessment, evaluation, planning, implementation, management, monitoring, and improvement efforts; and
  4. Opportunities and strategies for promoting and supporting individual beneficiaries as an informed, responsible and prudent purchaser.

This was just the latest in a series of “giving back” things Ernie has been involved with. In addition, he serves on the board of the Michigan Protection and Advocacy Service, and is chair of its Persons and Individuals with Mental Illness committee. He chairs the Consumer Education and Self-Advocacy Council for the National Disability Rights Network in Washington, D.C. and serves on the Michigan Department of Community Health Recovery Council. He is also involved with the University of Pennsylvania Peer Internet Study program. He is a member of the National Mental Health Association, the National Association of Peer Specialists, and is a certified CPR/First Aid/AED instructor. He is a former Drop-In Center Director and former chairperson of the Consumer Advocacy Council at Northern Lakes Community Mental Health.