Kimberly Zapata is a wife, mother, award-winning writer, and mental health advocate who has struggled with mental illness since she was fifteen years old. She is the founder of Sunshine Spoils Milk, the place where motherhood and mental health meet; a social media manager for Scary Mommy Special Needs — a place and space which celebrates the unique challenges some people (and parents) face — and her work has been featured on Huff Post, The Washington Post, Babble, YourTango, Little Things, Ravishly, Romper, and The Mighty, to name a few. In addition to her writing, Kimberly regularly speaks on panels regarding mental health, including BlogHer, MomsEveryday, and at Mental Health America (2016 and 2017).
Nicole Alos is a mother, wife, business owner, consultant, and leadership coach who focused, full-speed ahead, on her career in executive leadership until 2015, when a high-risk pregnancy stopped her in her tracks. After the birth of her son, Nicole developed postpartum anxiety, and while she immediately recognized she needed help, many professionals in the psychiatric space had six-plus month waiting lists, did not have adequate experience with perinatal mood disorders, and/or required cash-only payments — which were hundreds of dollars per session. Thankfully, Nicole had the resources to work through these issues, but not everyone is as lucky. As such, Nicole has made it her mission to help others, especially new and expectant mothers, lower income families, and children/young adults struggling with mental illness. In addition to providing peer support, Nicole works hard to bring attention and funding to these unique populations.
Michael Thornsbury is a fundraising professional who has been working with local and national nonprofit and membership organizations for 20 years. In 2005, Mike was diagnosed with his first mental illness following leaving New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Since then, he battled with many variations of depression, anxiety and panic disorders. In 2010, after an unsuccessful suicide attempt and a short stay in a mental health facility, Mike moved on. Noticing the lack of care in the facility he was in and the huge lack of awareness and stigma around his disease, he decided to get involved. He became a strong advocate, both locally and nationally, and he currently serves on the Board for Mental Health America.