Xavier Whitford, Executive Director

Xavier Whitford has spent the past decade devoting her life to helping others who live with mental illness or been affected by suicide. Sharing her insights and personal story of losing her son, Tommy, to suicide as well as her own journey through depression, anxiety, and PTSD because of that great loss. Xavier has taken her pain and turned it into a purpose to cultivate a deeper understanding of the nature of living with mental illness and suicidal thoughts.

Xavier is a wife, mother, and Gigi. She has spoken at many schools, churches and organizations inspiring and educating groups of all ages to end the stigma surrounding mental illness and on the factors that lead to suicide. Xavier helps arm individuals within communities with support, education, and training. Her personal story, tireless commitment, and passion to improve support and education around these topics has made her a powerful advocate to the mental health community.

As a Mental Health First Aid Instructor for Public Safety, Adult, Youth, Veterans, and Fire/EMS curriculum, Xavier teaches members of the public how to help a person developing a mental health problem, experiencing a worsening of an existing mental health problem or in a mental health crisis. In her role as a facilitator for Teen & Young Adult Mental Health Groups and Grief Support Groups, she provides an opportunity to talk with, and listen to, others who know the personal nature of living with mental illness and grief in a safe and non-judgmental environment. Her passion to help others birthed the Restore & Resilience Retreats weekend that offers interdisciplinary programs in a peaceful retreat setting focused on healing the mind, body, and spirit of participants. The array of evidence-based programs will provide participants the necessary tools to not only survive but thrive. She envisioned a healthy society in which people are provided the opportunity to achieve their full potential free from stigma and share that potential with others in our community. Xavier is also a published author and blogger.


Current Board of Directors:

  • Anne Wilkerson – President
    Central Services Manager at City of Rockford
  • Tamir Bell – Vice President
    Co-owner at Evolution Digital Marketing
  • Carrie Hagerty – Treasurer
    Finance Director at City of Rockford
  • Makaya Corral-Whitford – Secretary
    Occupational Therapist
    Advocate for Underserved Population
  • Crystal Schuring
    Marketing Services Representative at Blue Cross Blue Shield
    Mental Health First Aid Instructor
  • Cory Whitford
    Executive Director at Rock River Chaplains Association
  • Zach Haney
    College Student at Illinois State University
  • Hailey Vrolyk
    College Student at Ball State University
  • Kirsten Edmunds
    Certified Medical Assistant at Crusader Clinic
    Mental Health First Aid Instructor – Adult
    Group Facilitator
  • Tony Ziegelbauer
    Senior Manager of Maintenance at Constellation Byron Generating Station

Mental Health Provider Team

Riverside Counseling Center
Lindsey McClanathan
6653 Weaver Road
Rockford, IL 61114

Alternative Wellness Therapy
Marissa Ebert
9950 N Alpine Rd, Suite 103
Machesney Park, IL 61115

Healing Pathways
Alix Kavran
7310  N Alpine Rd
Loves Park, IL 61111

Along The Path Counseling
Jason Peckels / Raia Lipford
433 S Phelps Ave, Suite 2
Rockford, IL 61108

The Healing Chapter Counseling Center LLC
Megan Alberto, LCPC (She/Her)
5758 Elaine Drive Suite 101C
Rockford, IL 61108

KP Counseling
6392 Linden Rd
Rockford, IL 61109

Mosaic Counseling Services
Stephanie Yates / Jay Swanson
6072 Brynwood Drive, Suite 205
Rockford, IL 61114

Resilience Counseling
Renita Shores- Gaston
5844 Elaine Drive, Suite 101
Rockford, IL 61108

Willow Way Counseling Center LLC
Jamie Swenson, LCSW
23 E Milwaukee St #211
Janesville WI 53545