About the Advocate
Micah Pearson is Secretary of the NAMI Board of Directors and the Executive Director of NAMI of Southern New Mexico.
He first learned about NAMI through taking a peer-to-peer class, after which he encouraged his parents to take the NAMI Family-to-Family class. This ended up saving his life years later after he experienced multiple hospitalizations and the all-too-common de facto hospital that is the criminal justice system. Through his affiliation with NAMI, Micah hopes to address the social determinants of health (specifically diversity, equity and inclusion-related issues) and their impact on mental health treatment.
As an advocate, he is also a member of the Opioid +360 substance use reduction group, and member of the Local Behavioral Health Collaborative and has expertise in information systems, criminal justice and public policy. As an artist, his art has been featured at the Smithsonian Arts and Industries Building and had three gallery shows and authored multiple books; the last of which was A Peek Inside: Illustrated Journeys in Life With Mental Illness.
He attended Corcoran College of Art and Design and was recognized with a New Mexico Behavioral Health Star Award for his work in Criminal Justice Reform and Peer Support. In 2021, Micah was recognized by the Treatment Advocacy Center for the AOT program he helped create specifically for its integration of peers in the strategic planning and development and peer supports at all levels of the treatment teams. Micah was also guest speaker at the APA as an expert on integration of peer supports into forensic environments. In addition, Micah was appointed to and currently serves as a direct advisor to the New Mexico Governor's behavioral health council.
“A lot of the work I do with our community and our organization as a whole is to prevent [what happened to me] from happening to other people.”
On an episode of KRWG-TV’s “In Focus,” Pearson shared a personal reason he works as an advocate. He says he is a person living with Bipolar disorder — type one, rapid cycling with psychotic features — and he says he has also had an unfortunate experience with law enforcement, being placed in detention without access to treatment for an extended period of time. 
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