Xavier Whitford, Executive Director
Xavier Whitford has spent the past seven years devoting her life to helping others who live with mental illness or been effected 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 as a result 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 of a Pastor, mother of two, and Gigi to a beautiful little princess. 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.
Xavier is a teacher, advocate, and board member with National Alliance on Mental Illness, Northern Illinois Chapter. As a Mental Health First Aid Instructor, 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. Xavier is an published author and blogger.
Current Board of Directors:
- Crystal Schuring – President
Account Executive at Blue Cross Blue Shield MHFA Instructor
- Jamie Evans – Vice President
Chief of Police at Village of Roscoe. Grant Administrator/MHFA Instructor
- Anne Wilkerson – Treasurer
Central Services Manager at City of Rockford
- Makaya Corral-Whitford – Secretary
College Student at Mt. Mary University Advocate for Underserved Population
- Cory Whitford
Campus Life Director at Youth for Christ
- Tamir Bell
Head of Visual Content at Evolution Digital Marketing
- Hailey Vrolyk
College Student at Ball State University
- Kirsten Edmunds
Certified Medical Assistant at Crusader Clinic Outreach Coordinator/Group Facilitator