Wednesday, June 29, 2022
Learn how to care for yourself as the caregiver of the organization. In this workshop, you’ll discover helpful strategies to prevent and overcome the negative effects burnout and compassion fatigue can have on your well-being and productivity.
Alexa James, CEO at NAMI Chicago
Ben Frank, Chief Wellness Officer at NAMI Chicago
Alexa James has made NAMI Chicago a leading voice in the conversation around mental wellness, the challenges of the mental health system, and mental health education in Chicago and beyond. Under Alexa’s leadership, NAMI Chicago has built partnerships extending throughout Chicago and Illinois that strengthen our community’s response to mental health—including by emerging as a trusted partner and expert with Chicago’s first responder agencies, the Office of the Mayor, mental health providers, and community stakeholders.
Alexa assumed the role of Executive Director of NAMI Chicago in 2014, and transitioned to the role of Chief Executive Officer in 2020. Alexa has represented NAMI Chicago on the Police Accountability Task Force under Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the COVID-19 Recovery Task Force under Mayor Lori Lightfoot, and Mayor-elect Lightfoot’s Health & Human Services Transition Committee. In early 2021, the Chicago Police Department announced Alexa’s appointment as their Senior Advisor of Wellness, a consultant role aimed at building a culture of wellness and care for police officers, which can be used to inform interactions with residents and communities they serve. Alexa has made numerous appearances on local media, including "Chicago Tonight" on WTTW and the Chicago Tribune. She has grown NAMI Chicago’s presence in the community, not only in media and partnerships, but by building a foundation for organizational growth that has particularly expanded NAMI Chicago’s Helpline, peer support, and training and education services.
NAMI Chicago’s message is at the heart of Alexa’s leadership: that with courage and hope, we can bring healing to those who are overlooked in our mental health system, and in our society. In the 10 years prior to her appointment as Executive Director, Alexa worked with children and adults living with mental health conditions as well as those impacted by poverty and trauma. Alexa earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Loyola University, as well as a Master’s Degree in Child Development from Erickson Institute. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the state of Illinois.
Ben Frank joined the NAMI Chicago team in August 2018, transitioning into his role of Chief Wellness Officer in September 2020. He previously served as Education Coordinator and Clinical Coordinator of the Helpline program.
Ben oversees wellness strategy for NAMI Chicago, ensuring that the organization builds an internal culture that promotes mental wellness in our team in a way that is consistent with how we teach mental wellness to the community.
Ben started his career in mental health over 20 years ago as a direct care worker in a group home for adolescent boys. Ben joined Riveredge Hospital in Forest Park as Director of Residential Services in 2009, as well as working with the Outpatient programs extensively.
Ben earned a Bachelor’s of Science in English from Iowa State University and went on to earn a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Chicago. Ben lives out NAMI Chicago’s mission of providing healing to our community and never giving up on those who come to us for support. Ben finds great fulfillment in helping people find hope.
Lulafit is an employee well-being solution helping employers build modern and inclusive workforce wellness cultures. Our platform supports employees no matter where they live or work, nurturing your team’s physical, social, and mental health.
Our team of well-being experts is passionate about boosting health and happiness. HR leaders often spearhead initiatives to support their team. But who looks out for them? An idea was sparked, and this digital event series was born.