About WISE

WISE: Initiative for Stigma Elimination unites people across the nation to support those touched by mental illness & addiction. Our compassionate approach champions personal stories and powerful connections, fostering healing by reducing stigma through evidence-based practices.

WISE Executive Committee

Meet the WISE Executive Committee, a dedicated team of professionals leading the charge in stigma elimination. Their diverse expertise and passion drive the strategic direction and advocacy efforts, empowering change and fostering inclusion for mental health and addiction support.

Dr. Ricardo Anderson

Chair of WISE, Instructional Connections. Academic Coach


Ellie Jarvie

Lead Advocate, Disability Rights Wisconsin

Thomasina Jenkins, LCSW, CSAC, ICS

Clinical Assistant Professor and Field Liason Helen Bader School of Social Welfare UW – Milwaukee

Mark W. Powless

General Manager, Oneida Nation

Megan McLachlan, MEd

Education coordinator at NAMI Wisconsin

Dr. Maria Inosencia Amarante LPC, SAC, Ph.D.

Multicultural Trauma and Addiction Treatment Center of Wisconsin

Rogers Community Learning and Engagement Staff

The Rogers Community Learning and Engagement staff, work hand-in-hand with WISE to eliminate stigma. Their unwavering dedication and collaboration help bring our mission to life, promoting mental health support and fostering a more inclusive and understanding society.

Alison Wolf

Operation and Development Manager


Emily Jonesberg, MSW, LCSW

Program Manager


Hanna Maechtle

Training Specialist


Brittney Fair, MSW, APSW

Training Specialist


Coaching for Success Program, Sheboygan, WI

Discover the Coaching for Success Program, an innovative partnership empowering teachers and staff to address students’ social, emotional, and mental health needs. With trained coaches and strong community collaboration, we foster resilience and support for educators and youth alike.

Kimberly Johnson

Lead Coach – Coaching for Success Sheboygan


Patrick Uselding

Lead Coach – Coaching for Success Sheboygan


End Stigma Together: The WISE Approach

Stigma 101 Course

Stigma is a major barrier to people getting the help they need. Take time to learn what it is and how to overcome it.

Up to Me

The Up to Me curriculum helps people make choices about if, when, and how they share their mental health and substance use struggles.

Safe Person 7 Promises

Learn how to respond in a supportive, non-judgmental way when people with mental health and other challenges are ready to share.

Compassion Resilience Toolkits

Facilitator resources for professionals and caregivers to prevent compassion fatigue.

WISE Values


We believe that people are resilient; that every individual is fundamentally whole and equal, and brings strengths and contributions vital to the success of our work.

We work in collaboration with healthcare, workplace, education, and other systems to raise awareness and recognition that health is fluid and mental health essential to wholeness.


We are honest and transparent about our own concerns, conflicts, and limitations.

We challenge ourselves, our partners, and non-partners alike to integrate WISE values and mission in our work. We treat each other and ourselves with compassion and respect; and are committed to honesty, transparency, and a willingness to work through conflict.


We believe that people have choice and control when sharing their individual stories of adversity and recovery which can be self-healing and change hearts and minds. We speak from our own individual experience, while recognizing the power of our collective voice.

All of our work and collaborations will place personal story and experience at its core. We actively advocate and support people to find and use their own voice and story as fundamental to the mission of WISE.

Continuous Learning

With a commitment to curiosity, we seek opportunities for growth, and strive to remain humble in the pursuit of understanding one another’s worldviews.

Through collaboration, we seek to capture and share the knowledge that individuals and communities already have, and offer the tools to utilize that knowledge to effect change locally. We believe effective methods of evaluation should drive planning and program revision.

We connect with one another and our work by participating in action teams, meetings, and events, sharing lessons learned and new ideas. We create a culture of questioning to help both ourselves and those around us understand and be well-informed about how our beliefs and practices are shaped.

Change Agency

We believe that we must serve as agents of change in order to achieve our mission. Because our work is part of a larger civil rights movement, we must recognize our connectedness to history so that we do not perpetuate oppression.

We strive to build a culture that honors our voices and stories. We advocate for our mission within systems, sharing new ideas and approaches, challenging the status quo, and inviting others to join us.

WISE Shareables: One-Page Docs


A one-page document about who we are, what we offer, and how individuals and organizations can participate.


Explore WISE programs: presentations, support resources, and toolkits for mental health stigma reduction.


Wholeness, Integrity, Story, Continuous Learning, and Change Agency - together, we support and promote inclusion.


Learn about Strategic Disclosure and Planned Contact - principles guiding our stigma reduction efforts.

WISE Partners

Our WISE Partners, are a diverse network of organizations and individuals united in the fight against stigma. Together, we amplify our impact, fostering understanding and inclusion for those affected by mental illness and addiction through shared expertise and commitment.

Alverno College, Milwaukee, WI

American Heart Association, Milwaukee, WI

Appleton Public Library, Appleton, WI

Aurora Family Services, Milwaukee, WI

Cardinal Stritch University, Milwaukee, WI

Character Counts, Mental Health Committee – Port Washington school District, WI

City on a Hill, Milwaukee, WI

Coalition for Children’s Mental Health, Milwaukee, WI

Compassion MKE, Milwaukee, WI

Convergence Resource Center, Milwaukee, WI

COPE Services (Ozaukee County), WI

Data You Can Use, Milwaukee, WI

Dry Hootch, Milwaukee

Illinois Institute of Technology – Dr. Patrick Corrigan

Center for Urban Research, Teaching and Outreach (CURTO), Marquette University

Children’s Wisconsin

Christian Family Solutions, WI, MN, FL, ID, MI, NE

Concordia University, Mequon, WI

Cultivate Mental Wellness Ozaukee and Washington County Partnership

Disability Rights Wisconsin

Ex Fabula, Milwaukee, WI

Finding Your Fairytale – Angela Kupper, Milwaukee, WI

Gathering on the Green, Mequon, WI

Giving Voice to Depression Podcast, Milwaukee, WI

The Institute of Trauma and Trauma Informed Care, Buffalo, NY

Kentucky Department of Public Instruction, Commonwealth of Kentucky

LaCrosse Mental Health Coalition, WI

Latino Health Coalition, Milwaukee, WI

LGBTQ Community Center, Milwaukee, WI

Love IV Lawrence, Tampa, FL

Medical College of Wisconsin

Mental Health America Lakeshore Sheboygan, WI

Mental Health America Wisconsin

Mental Health Task Force of Polk County, WI

Milwaukee Center for Independence, WI

Milwaukee Mental Health Task Force, WI

Milwaukee Public Schools, WI

MIRACLE (Mental Illness Raising Awareness with Church and Community Leaders Everywhere), Milwaukee, WI

Multicultural Trauma and Addiction Treatment Center of Wisconsin

NAMI Dane County, WI

NAMI Chicago, IL

NAMI Fox Valley, WI

NAMI Southeast WI

NAMI Racine, WI


New Concept Self Development Center, Milwaukee, WI

Next Door, Milwaukee

Nicolet Federated Library System, WI

North East WI Mental Health Connection

Nurturing Diversity Partners, Milwaukee, WI

Office of Children’s Mental Health (OCMH), WI

Oneida Nation, Green Bay, WI

Ozaukee Family Services, WI

PATH School based mental health program, Sheboygan, WI

Prevent Suicide Greater Milwaukee, WI

Prevent Suicide WI

REDgen, Shorewood, WI

Resilient Retreat, Sarasota, Florida

Rogers Behavioral Health, WI, PA, TN, FL, CA, GA, IL, MN, CO, WA

Safe and Sound, Milwaukee, WI

Samaritan Family Wellness, Glendale, WI

Sebastian Family Psychology Services, Milwaukee, WI

SCPMH – School Community Partnership for Mental Health, Milwaukee, WI

Shorehaven Behavioral Health, Brown Deer, WI

Southwest Wisconsin Behavioral Health Partnership Community Action Program

Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Awareness Coalition of Portage County, WI

The Jed Foundation, Los Angeles

University of Wisconsin Milwaukee

UWM Helen Bader School of Social Welfare, Milwaukee, WI

University of Wisconsin Madison

University of Wisconsin Whitewater

Veteran Peer Support at Medical College of Wisconsin

Core El Centro, Milwaukee, WI

Wellpoint Care Network, Milwaukee, WI

WISH (Wisconsin Safe & Healthy Schools) Center, CESA (Cooperative Educational Service Agency), Wisconsin

Wisconsin Child Welfare Professional Development System

Wisconsin Family Ties (WFT)

Wisconsin PATCH Program

Wisconsin Peer Specialists

Wood County Mental Health Matters Coalition, WI