Malkia Maisha Newman received her diagnosis of bipolar disorder late in life, after living with undiagnosed and untreated symptoms for more than 30 years. “The result was a lifetime of broken dreams and failed relationships,” she explains.
In 2004, Malkia was introduced to the Community Mental Heath system through Community Network Services, Inc. (CNS). Education about her illness and valuable life skills helped Malkia achieve recovery and find hope for “a life worth living.”
One year after she began receiving services from CNS, Malkia became one of the peer educators responsible for developing the award-winning CNS Anti-Stigma Program. This important initiative shares information about stigma and related mental health issues to thousands of people across the state through sensitivity and awareness training.
Always active in her community, Malkia was appointed to the Oakland Community Health Network Board in 2007. Although employed in the mental health field, Malkia wanted to make a greater impact on the system at a different level. “I felt a need to speak for those who couldn’t speak for themselves,” she says. “Also, I am intensely invested in the recovery model. I believe that as successful as we have been in various segments of our business, we have not yet integrated this policy in the system as a whole.”
Malkia’s family consists of her chief cheerleaders: husband, Dubrae; daughter, Tracie; and very special grandchildren, Kiyah and Gregory.