A fierce advocate for individuals and families dealing with mental health issues is stepping down due to a family tragedy. Rob Landgraf, Board Chair, of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, Southeast Minnesota, says Executive Director, Courtney Lawson, has resigned, effective February first.

Since 2012 Lawson has overseen tremendous growth in budget, staff, programs, and outreach. She has worked tirelessly with lawmakers to bring a mental health crisis center to Rochester.

Included in the press release was something rare in these situations. A note from the executive director, making her reasons clear.

After six years with NAMI SE MN, I recently submitted my resignation to the board. I have a mix of emotions as I move into this next chapter of my life, a decision prompted by the need to create space to heal after my husband’s recent death by suicide. While the choice was difficult, I am certain I will emerge stronger and continue to contribute to community efforts to enhance mental health and quality of life.

I am extremely proud of all that NAMI SE MN staff, board and members have accomplished during the past six years and hold dear to my heart the relationships I’ve built during my time as Executive Director.

I want to give my deepest gratitude to all who have been so supportive of the organization and of me personally over the years: staff, board members, and, of course, our community partners and NAMI SE MN members. Without you, the organization would not be as strong and vibrant as it is. I am so honored to have been the leader of this incredible organization and will watch with much excitement and anticipation as it makes strides in eliminating the stigma of mental illness.

All my best,

Courtney Lawson, Executive Director, NAMI Southeast Minnesota

A search will begin immediately for a new executive director. If you are interested, contact Board Chair Rob Landgraf: boardpresident@namisemn.org

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