Makinie Fortino, LMFT – President, Founder & CEO
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. Program Creation & Management is a passion of Makinie’s, and her first Free Therapy Program was for a state technical college in January of 2020.
In January of 2022 Makinie expanded 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 through direct therapy services for Black and Melanated people, consultation services for community leaders and organizations, helping organizations kickstart and launch free therapy initiatives, and providing webinars and workshops to providers.
Makinie has also published two manuals to help build cultural competence and awareness in 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.
Spiritual Therapy: Evidence Based and Effective Interventions for Therapists, Wellness Professionals and Spiritual Enthusiasts
For more information about Makinie, please visit: LinkTree: MakinieTherapy.
Ukandu Soverall, Secretary & Treasurer
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)
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.
Idabelle Fosse, MSW
Idabelle Fosse is a bilingual Afro-Latina with a proven track record of her commitment to racial, gender, social and economic justice work. Before receiving her MSW, Idabelle did more than twenty years of direct service work with youth and adults around mental health, HIV, domestic violence, substance abuse and homelessness, and hired, trained and supervised staff, volunteers and MSW interns.
Idabelle recently worked Public Health Seattle King County in their Health Care for the Homeless Network Mobile COVID Homelessness Response where she coordinated and presented trainings for staff around microaggressions, implicit bias, bystander interventions and the tenets of white supremacy culture and how it plays out in our work, in order to create a shared language and understanding around racial equity and how we can work towards dismantling it.
She recently received a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Workplace Certificate from the USF Corporate Training and Professional Education program at University of South Florida.
At the Coalition Ending Gender Based Violence, Idabelle worked as the Trauma Behavioral Health Systems Coordinator ensuring that there was a strong relationship between domestic violence, sexual assault and behavioral health agencies across King County.
Idabelle worked for Sound Generations (formerly Senior Services) doing community outreach work, and was also chosen as a Fellow with the Puget Sound Sage Community Leadership Institute where she studied & served on local boards and commissions, using a racial and social equity lens in order to help lay long term groundwork for achieving solutions based on community needs regarding housing, land use, transit, climate and economic development.
After graduating from the program, she became a Commissioner on the Seattle Women’s Commission and then was voted one of the Co-Chairs. In both her roles at CEGV and with the Commission, Idabelle was able to work with Seattle City Council staff on legislation that would help better the lives of all who identify as women in Seattle.
During her time at Sound Generations, Idabelle was part of the Staff Equity and Inclusion Committee and was also a Program Manager, and was responsible for making sure that staff and volunteers received intercultural training.
Idabelle also spent time as a Southern CA organizer for Health Access where she created a coalition to address budget cuts affecting low-income communities and communities of color across Southern CA.