Administrative Assistant: Free Therapy & Wellness Program

Curtia Thurston is an accomplished professional with over 15 years of robust experience in administrative and operational management, program management, and project analysis. With a strong emphasis on overseeing administrative and program processes, Curtia has been recognized for outstanding performance and verifiable achievements in various leadership and management roles within the private sector and federal government.

Having pursued higher education at the College of Southern Maryland, studying Criminal Justice, and the University of Maryland University College, focusing on Business Administration, Curtia possesses a solid academic foundation complementing her professional expertise.

Beyond her career, Curtia is a devoted mother of three beautiful children. With a passion for supporting the melanated community, she actively engages in initiatives related to Mental Health and Self-Care Awareness. Curtia believes in the transformative power of contributing to the mental well-being of others, striving to make a tangible difference in the world through advocacy and support.

Seeking continuous career growth, Curtia is drawn to collaborative cultures where personal fulfillment is found in uplifting others and traveling the world. Her dedication to excellence, coupled with her commitment to community and personal development, exemplifies her unwavering pursuit of professional and personal fulfillment.

Client, Provider & Partner Engagement Surveyor

Leti Ramirez (she/her/hers) , who identifies as a Hispanic woman, has received her Bachelor of
Arts in Sociology with a Minor in Diversity at the University of Washington in Seattle and is a
current student in a Master of Social Work program through Eastern Washington University. She
is one of only two members of her immediate and extended family to pursue a master’s degree
and has the support and excitement of her family who worked tirelessly to create this
opportunity for her. She works for Seattle Children’s Hospital as a Family Services Coordinator
and is developing social work skills through a mental health counseling practicum at Peaceful
Soul Healing.

Leti is interested in becoming a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker so she can
provide trauma-informed counseling to adults in need, but is constantly finding new interests
and passions through her studies. She is grateful for the opportunity to engage in the impactful
work DMHS does and to learn more about contributing to broader-scale systemic change.

CEO & DMHS Free Therapy & Wellness, Directory, Outreach, and Workshop Coordinator

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 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.

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

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