Makinie Fortino, LMFT – President, Founder & Treasurer

Makinie Fortino (she/her/hers) is the Founder and President of DMHS: Deconstructing the Mental Health System, Inc.

She identifies as Black and Afro-Caribbean American and is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) who has been working in mental health for 10 years.

Makinie received her Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy in 2013 from Central Connecticut State University, and has worn many hats ranging from in-home counselor to case manager, vocational counselor, academic advisor/behavioral health counselor and in social services, in Connecticut, Florida and Washington State.

In January of 2022, Makinie expand her part-time practice, Makinie Therapy LLC, to full-time, serving individuals, and specialize in processing racial trauma, navigating the workplace as BIPOC, relationship dynamics, family life cycles, anxiety, and depression.

In all of Makinie’s work, she is intentional about interrupting and dismantling the racist aspects of the mental health system. Part of that is through making space that feels safe for Black and Melanated people, and teaching self-advocacy to help them navigate various systems (healthcare, mental health, social services, etc). The other part of her work is workshops & webinars, and community-building, first through Black Counselors of King County WA Facebook Page, and now through DMHS.

Makinie’s private practice and DMHS were created out of the need to feel more grounded in holistic counseling as well as continued dedication to systemic change to our current mental health system on an individual and collective levels.

Makinie is very passionate about helping people feel attuned to their inner-most needs, in order to approach their loved ones more open, with compassion, a sense of self-confidence and self-worth.

Makinie has also published a manual to help build cultural competence and awareness about to the mental health community: Treating Black Mental Health, with an African-American-Caribbean Spiritual Lens: A Culturally Relevant Manual for Mental Health and Wellness Professionals.

For more information about Makinie, please visit: LinkTree: MakinieTherapy. 

Ukandu Soverall, Secretary

Ukandu Soverall (he/him/his) joins the DMHS team with a wealth of experience in education and mental health. Ukandu is in the U.S. Navy. He is a graduate of Saint Vincent College earning his Masters of Science in Education Counseling in 2015 and Bachelors of Psychology in 2012. At Saint Vincent College, he was employed as an Assistant to Multicultural Student life for two years before being named the Interim Assistant Director of Multicultural Student Life for the 2016-2017 academic school year.

To compliment his school experience he worked for three years in Mental Health as a crisis tech in the Emergency Room and as staff on an inpatient adolescent mental health unit. For two years he was a member of the Restorative Justice Practices team for Miami Dade County School district with helping to implement Restorative Practices across the district.

Ukandu served as a School Counselor for Miami Dade County Public Schools. He also served as a youth coach with the Junior Dolphin’s and volunteers as a coach with Grace Given another Non-Profit organization.

Some other coaching experiences include coaching Defensive Coach for one season with Latrobe Middle 2013, and Intern Coach for Saint Vincent College in 2012. He firmly believes in uplifting others, breaking barriers, and eliminating the stigma many communities and minorities face regarding mental health. With being a part of DMHS he hopes to be a part of providing the resources and opportunities people need to become the best version of themselves.

Ayanna Soverall, RN

Ayanna Soverall (she/her/hers) grew up the youngest of three. She received an Associate in Arts, Bachelor of Arts in Latin, and Bachelor of Arts in Relational Communication from University of South Florida. She taught Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten for 6 years, earning a Master of Science in Child and Family Studies along the way.

Ayanna earned her fifth degree in Nursing at Duke University, and is a Nurse in Labor and Delivery.

She is passionate about successful childhood developmental stage transitions, sexual assault advocacy, and maternal mental health.

Halisha Anderson, MA MFT, LPC

Halisha Anderson (she/her/hers) is an acting board member of DMHS: Deconstructing the Mental
Health System, Inc.
She identifies as a Black woman.
Halisha is a Licensed Professional Counselor residing in Louisiana.
Halisha earned a graduate degree in Marriage and Family therapy and earned a
bachelor’s degree in psychology with an emphasis in child and adolescent services from City University of Seattle. Halisha has counseled in various settings that have been non- profit based including school therapy, counseling domestic violence survivors, as well as working with the chronically homeless population, and offering individual, couples, and family counseling. Halisha recently moved to New Orleans where she wants to pursue an opportunity to also bring her passion for therapy and healing to the residents of Louisiana. Prior to moving to Louisiana, Halisha lived in Washington for 20 years and is a native of Southern California. 

Since attending graduate school there have been many events that have polarized this country and have led to many instances where individuals are pursuing mental health therapy as a means to prioritize their mental health needs and trauma. Halisha has adapted to the ever-changing environment and landscape of this country and insists that supporting individuals, couples, and families that identify as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color is a necessity that has been ignored in this country for far too long. The timing to provide consistent mental health services to these groups needs to be treated with urgency and done with intention, care, and sensitivity.

When approached by Makinie, to serve as a board member of DMHS Halisha proudly accepted the opportunity and expressed her enthusiasm for being a part of an organization that is dedicated to the betterment of Black communities, Indigenous communities, and the many communities of Color that exist in this country. Halisha wants to contribute in a meaningful way that will provide mental health stability so that these communities have an opportunity to share in the wealth as well as be acknowledged for their contributions with regard to the emotional and physical labor of these groups to survive and thrive in America.

Nicole Hoyes Wilson, LICSW, LMHC

Nicole Hoyes Wilson, LICSW, LMHC (she/her/hers) currently serves as a tenured counseling faculty member and directs the Counseling Center at Highline College. She is originally from Washington state and is a child of immigrant parents from Jamaica and England. As a licensed mental health counselor and licensed clinical social worker, she provides individual mental health counseling, crisis intervention, and educational outreach. Much of her clinical work has focused on the intersections of oppression and mental health; namely, the impacts of racial trauma, sexism, and homophobia on one’s sense of self. 

Nicole has 20 years of professional experience in higher education in the areas of student development, leadership, and counseling. In addition to role at Highline College, she has served as an adjunct faculty member in the College of Education at Seattle University teaching graduate social justice counseling and social justice education courses. She has also served in the role of lay leader and Moderator at Liberation United Church of Christ.

As an independent consultant, Nicole is often sought out for training and development focused on trauma informed care, racial battle fatigue, collective care, active listening, identity development, and mental health first aid. She has provided consultation and organizational leadership training for non-profits, universities, K-12 teachers, and legislators. 

Nicole is an alumna of the Pacific Lutheran University, where she received her B.A. in English and Social Work, she earned a M.S.W. with an emphasis in multi-ethnic practice and school social work from the University of Washington and earned a M.A. in Education and Community Counseling at Seattle University. 

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