Who is Melinda?
Melinda lives in Washington, DC and self-Identifies as a current consumer of mental health services, who is in active recovery from serious mental health disorders, including Bipolar Disorder, Bulimia, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, and Suicidal Ideation and Attempt. Melinda developed a passion for advocacy, including mental health advocacy from her own experiences healing from her serious mental illnesses utilizing the District of Columbia and Maryland mental/behavioral health system and her law school’s counseling center.
Melinda is the Principal Consultant of RoyHas LLC and focuses on transforming systems into human experiences and language. She has a passion for all things public health, including policy, education, and advocacy. Melinda has experience in multiple industry sectors and consults with a variety of stakeholders to help organizations, communities, and individuals evolve above their current circumstances and/or barriers. For more information about RoyHas LLC, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
She creatively shares her recovery stories at www.bgstories.com using multiple technology platforms to promote mental health awareness. Melinda shares her unique experiences as a Black woman, an exchange student, traveler, law student, comedian, professor, military brat, researcher, provider, advocate, speaker, and psych patient. Her ease in talking to people from all levels of society, genuine empathy, and personal vulnerability set the stage for deep, real conversations between her and those on her podcast, Couch Sessions About Mental Illness, due to launch soon.
Melinda currently works as a Program Manager for Amazon, where she has been able to be a public advocate for mental health. She had to take a Leave of Absence due to mental health relapse during 2022 and used her rehabilitation time to complete Black Girl Interrupted. Melinda served as a COVID-19 Task Force Division Chief/Program Manager for the DC Health Department during the start of the Pandemic. She was a Professorial Lecturer at the George Washington University’s Milken Institute School of Public Health and guest lectured at the Schools of Medicine and Psychology. Melinda was the founding Executive Director of a new consumer-focused activity center, Our Door Community Wellness Center, a partnership between DC Department of Behavioral Health (DBH) and Green Door Behavioral Health (dissolved). She led the development of the Our Door’s programs. Melinda previously worked as a Special Projects Coordinator for DBH’s Consumer and Family Affairs Administration.
Melinda received a Master of Public Health (Health Policy and Management) at the George Washington University (GWU) Milken Institute School of Public Health in May 2016 and was the Commencement Speaker for the Public Health graduation ceremony. She received a law degree from William & Mary School of Law in December 2005. Melinda completed her undergraduate studies at Towson University (December 1999).
Melinda dabbles in stand-up comedy, sings really bad karaoke and creatively shares her recovery stories using multiple mediums. She is active throughout the community in various activities that promote mental/behavioral health prevention, recovery, and resiliency. She believes that nonclinical support services in the community are as essential to a person’s recovery and resiliency as clinical services. She continues to be an active volunteer, speaker, and advocate for various organizations, including her home church, the Temple of Praise in Washington, DC. She has coordinated and spoken/presented at conferences, local and nationwide, promoting the vision that recovery and resiliency are possible. Melinda was a board member, most recently vice president, of the DC Chapter’s National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI DC) and has co-facilitated the Wednesday night mixed, support group for individuals with mental illness and those who love them.
DROP HER A LINE