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2019 Consumer Hall of Fame Award
Mental Health & Substance Abuse Recovery Commission


Each year, the Mental Health & Substance Abuse Recovery Commission recognizes individuals who have found their way to a path of wellness and recovery from a mental health condition and have been active in the consumer movement to better the lives of other consumers in the county.  This year, the commission recognized Daric Desautel, a San Mateo County native with a background in education, advocacy, and social justice.

Daric served as an officer in the U.S. Army and was an elementary school teacher in New York City and Oakland. Daric came to National Alliance on Mental Illness, San Mateo County through his recovery from bipolar depression and addiction. He is calm, genuine, and gentle natured and his willingness to help in any way he can enables him to relate extremely well to peers as he shares his own lived experience.

Activities he has participated in on behalf of NAMI SMC include sharing his experience as a panel member at a Provider Education seminar; mentoring others with mental illness as a NAMI Peer PAL, providing resource support for our Peer to Peer course; co-facilitating the Connection Support Group and assisting in a variety of community outreach events.

Daric’s ability as a teacher and passion for empowering others has found a meaningful match in NAMI’s mission to improve the quality of life for people experiencing mental health difficulties. An especially important part of the NAMI experience for him is connecting with a diverse community and the understanding that mental health is important to all classes, races, ages, and identities.

He currently works in substance abuse treatment at the Veterans Affairs, Palo Alto Health Care System but has remained active in NAMI as a Connection co-facilitator.   He is a terrific asset to NAMI SMC’s Peer support team.