Notables: Mental Health for Children & Young Adults

Movers & Makers asked organizations serving children and young adults in the mental health sector to introduce their notables to our readers, part of a regular feature highlighting people making a difference in Greater Cincinnati’s nonprofit community. 

Diane Egbers
Diane Egbers

For Diane Egbers, averting suicide is a mission based in tragedy 

Diane Egbers founded Grant Us Hope after losing her 15-year-old son, Grant, to suicide in 2015. Through her grief, she became determined to pave new paths of hope and suicide prevention so other families did not experience the devastating loss she had. Grant Us Hope now serves 400,000 students in 200 schools across Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana through Hope Squad, a lifesaving peer-to-peer suicide prevention program. Egbers has become a respected trailblazer and advocate for parents and communities to address mental health issues among teens in school systems nationwide. Egbers has turned her personal pain into incredible purpose. She is passionate about youth mental health and believes developing leadership in our youth can make a tremendous difference for our future. She is in the process of writing her second book, a parent-to-parent suicide prevention guide for helping children in mental health crisis.

Dr. Walter Smitson
Dr. Walter Smitson

Dr. Walter Smitson finds solutions for families’ mental health issues

Dr. Walter Smitson, CEO and president of Central Clinic Behavioral Health, has devoted 55 years to helping children, adults and families. He will be retiring at the end of this year. Driven by a passion for helping people reach their potential, Dr. Smitson has made an indelible impact on Greater Cincinnati communities. He began by treating children, the nonprofit’s focus at the time, and developed a deeper understanding of their anxiety and depression. Dr. Smitson realized parents held the keys to helping their kids and expanded CCBH’s scope to serve them too. Under Dr. Smitson’s leadership, CCBH now creates behavioral health solutions for families, helps people with mental health and substance use issues, and welcomes the LGBTQ+ community. Dr. Smitson has written three books, is passionate about photography and once owned 13 vintage cars. He and his wife, Trish, live in Hyde Park. Dr. Smitson has three children, two stepchildren and 11 grandchildren.

Bonita Campbell
Bonita Campbell

Bonita Campbell works for equity while fighting youth homelessness

Bonita Campbell, vice president of homeless youth services for Lighthouse Youth & Family Services, works daily to uplift youth and families in our community and ensure that young people of color and those in the LGBTQ+ community receive equitable treatment and respect. A licensed social worker and certified trauma practitioner, she has dedicated herself to serving youth and helping them reach their goals for over 30 years. A proven leader, she represents Lighthouse locally and nationally and is supporting Lighthouse’s racial equity work. Campbell is also a leader in the KEYS to A Future Without Youth Homelessness, a collaborative and groundbreaking community program to end youth homelessness in Hamilton County. Campbell is chair of the Cincinnati Continuum of Care Youth Work Group and board co-chair of the Homeless Coalition. When not working, she is active in her sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha, and spends time with her two sons.

Debbie Gingrich
Debbie Gingrich

Debbie Gingrich’s leadership moves programs to help vulnerable youths

Debbie Gingrich, chief clinical officer at Best Point Education & Behavioral Health, is a remarkable force in youth mental health services. She spearheads innovative initiatives benefiting 88 percent of the agency’s clients under 18, including a 24-hour crisis hotline and pediatric mental health urgent care. Leading more than 130 professionals in the region’s largest youth mental health organization, Gingrich has significant influence. Her dedication has earned her recognition, including the Cincinnati Business Courier’s “Forty under 40” and she is a BOLD program graduate, courtesy of the Leadership Council for Nonprofits. Gingrich’s visionary leadership not only advances the mental health sector but also nurtures resilience in vulnerable youths, paving the way for a compassionate future and ensuring they receive essential mental health support. Having grown up on a small farm in Warren County, she cherishes her connection to nature and enjoys a good hike with the family, gardening and reading by the pool.

Nancy Eigel-Mille
Nancy Eigel-Miller

Nancy Eigel-Miller works widely on youth suicide and mental health

Nancy Eigel-Miller, executive director of 1N5, took tragic circumstances in her own life to help change the staggering statistics on youth suicide and mental illness. She serves on multiple local boards and is represented in area coalitions, networks, cohorts and community initiatives to end suicide. Under Eigel-Miller’s direction, and in response to the youth mental health crisis, 1N5 uses education and stigma reduction to start life-saving conversations. In 2022 Nancy and her staff delivered over 250 mental health education presentations to over 27,000 people in the Tristate and 1N5’s school programming reached 197,000 K-12 students in more than 125 local schools and six area universities. Nancy has received awards such as Cincinnati Woman of the Year, the Jefferson and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis awards, and Non-Profit Executive Director of the Year/Pillar Award. In her free time, Nancy can be found cheering on Xavier basketball.

Nichol Boberg
Nichol Boberg

In her many roles, Nichol Boberg has helped thousands of young people  

Nichol Boberg started her career working with children in a residential program after graduating from college. Over the past 25 years, she has served young people across Greater Cincinnati in all levels of care, including residential treatment, partial hospitalization and outpatient services. She served several hundred youth as a clinical counselor. As a director, she has led the movement to provide wraparound services for youth as well as family peer support. Boberg has led the Talbert House team through several quality care initiatives including trauma-informed care, youth-led prevention initiatives in schools, OhioRISE and MRSS. She worked with partners including MindPeace Cincinnati and Prevention First, and she serves on the Ohio Attorney General Criminal Justice and Mental Health Task Force. Throughout her career she has touched the lives of thousands of youths directly and indirectly. Each year her team serves over 1,200 youth through her current work at Talbert House.

Julia Saldanha
Julia Saldanha

Julia Saldanha drives NAMI to help more students dealing with mental illness

Julia Saldanha, program director for the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) of Southwest Ohio, works to improve the lives of individuals and families affected by mental illness. Among the many free programs and services NAMI offers, Ending the Silence – a mental health awareness and suicide prevention program for students – has increased 15 times over the last four years thanks to Julia’s tireless efforts. As the primary driver of programming, Saldanha has steadily increased the number of youth NAMI SWOH reaches annually, and will be an integral part of an upcoming project to adapt another workshop, Language Matters, into a module for teen students. Outside of work, Saldanha loves to read snuggled up with her dog, Rhino. Saldanha had a severe stutter as a child, and her work has helped her to gain confidence in public speaking.

Dr. Joseph Rieman
Dr. Joseph Rieman

Dr. Joseph Rieman leads team offering mental health services 

Dr. Joseph Rieman has been the chief medical officer for NewPath Child & Family Solutions since January 2016. NewPath’s clinic treats individuals who participate in other programs within their agency and individuals who need psychopharmacological management to maintain their stability. Dr. Rieman leads NewPath’s team of doctors and nurse practitioners who help with questions about medications and psychiatric services, pharmacy assistance and symptom management and education. In his personal time, Dr. Rieman prefers to be outside as much as possible. He loves to camp with his family and stays active through fitness and coaching his children’s sports teams. He is also scuba certified. His original career ambition was to be a marine biologist before discovering his passion for psychiatry. 

Julie Leis Raleigh
Julie Leis Raleigh

Julie Leis Raleigh transformed grief into refuge for troubled young adults  

Julie Leis Raleigh lost her daughter, Madison, to suicide in 2019 at the age of 24. Madi had battled mental illness and addiction since high school. Compelled by Madi’s struggles, Julie, her husband Stephen, and their children Kyle, Chelsea and Carter founded Madi’s House Inc. to change the lives of young adults struggling with addiction and mental health. In 2020 they opened Madi’s House the Annex, a mental health hangout that provides a safe space to meet, activities, emotional support and wellness programs. Madi had envisioned such a place to go to find acceptance and have fun with “people like me,” as she used to say. With the annex quickly at capacity, Raleigh sought a larger space. In 2021, Bon Secours Mercy Health donated an expansive home from the estate of Powel Crosley, which is being renovated to open as Madi’s House this year. Raleigh finds solace and purpose in this labor of love, witnessing “Madi Miracles” every day. Raleigh, daughter of former Hamilton County Sheriff Simon L. Leis, loves to spend time with family when she’s not at Madi’s House.


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