Beginning her career as a social worker, Alexa James soon realized that the public needed to be educated on the country's mental health system and trained on how to deal with crisis intervention. Now, as the Executive Director for the National Alliance on Mental Illness Chicago, she helps people understand mental health issues, the challenges they face and the support that is available to them.
She told Start TV in the video above, "I’m a constant student of people who are living with mental health conditions, who are trying to negotiate our system. ... To be a part of the conversation means really understanding other people’s perspective.”
As a leader, James strives to be a model of compassion and patience, but says she still wakes up "every day" and thinks, "They’ll find out about me and realize I shouldn’t be in this role."
Find out how she overcomes impostor syndrome and hear her empowering message for women working in mental health:
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