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November 4, 2022

New director hired to lead fight against mental illness in Maine

The former president of Health Equity Alliance in Bangor has been hired to lead the Maine chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Jennifer Thompson began her role as the new executive director at the organization on Nov. 1. 

Portrait of blond woman in black dress
NAMI Maine
Jennifer Thompson appointed new executive director of NAMI Maine

Thompson brings over 24 years of senior administrative experience in fundraising, leadership and strategic planning. She's proficient in business growth and development and building dynamic organizational culture, the nonprofit said.

Since April 2021, Thompson served as president of Health Equity Alliance, a Bangor-based nonprofit that provides HIV care, sexual health and wellness services and harm reduction programs.  

"I am humbled and honored to join the National Alliance on Mental Illness Maine as their next executive director," said Thompson. "The organization meets such an important and growing need in Maine now more than ever. Over the next year, we will complete a strategic plan that will enable us to be progressive and responsive to the needs of the communities we serve." 

During the pandemic, National Alliance on Mental Illness Maine increased the programs it offers, reorganized the organization's internal structure and conducted two executive director searches, the release said. 

The organization had been led for 18 months by interim director Linda Schreiber, who replaced Jenna Mehnert, who resigned in February 2021. 

"The search committee and the board of directors unanimously believe Jenn is a great fit and will take the organization to a new level to better support, advocate and educate on behalf of the 1 in 4 Mainers affected by mental health issues," said board Chairperson Mike Pooler. "She brings a depth of knowledge and talent to challenge and support our staff, generate new funding sources, and guide us to a new and exciting future.”

Established in 1984, the Maine Chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness offers provides social/emotional support for all affected by mental illness. The organization also advocates for improved quality of services and educates and provides resources about mental illness.

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