Bettering Our Communities through Allyship and Alliance on Mental Illness with Ray Merenstein (Episode #97)

Ray MerensteinDr. Lynn Hellerstein of Vision Beyond Sight speaks with Ray Merenstein, idea hamster, speaker and nonprofit consultant who serves as Executive Director of NAMI Colorado (National Alliance on Mental Illness) and President of RDM Communications, to talk about how we can each of us better the communities in which we live, work, play and learn. He discussed providing free mental health access and resources to the youth, persons of color and even different sectors of the workforce through projects such as NAMI, peer support and 988, and encouraged all of us to get involved in ending the mental health crisis through volunteerism, paying it forward and choosing kindness.

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  • The mental health crisis, pre- and post-pandemic
  • The Behavioral Health Administration and its role to the ABC’s of healthcare
  • Free therapy visits for youth from
  • NAMI providing mental health access and resources to POC communities
  • Reaching out to non-mental health professionals to navigate mental health issues they encounter
  • Certified mental health practitioner in care teams
  • Peer support for the youth and different sectors to create a safe space
  • 988 for mental health emergencies
  • NAMI projects for every community at no cost
  • The reward of raising money for different institutions
  • How to get involved and volunteer in nonprofits like NAMI
  • Ray’s passion for Paddington Bear and key lime pie
  • Paying it forward, choosing kindness and acknowledging others

About Ray Merenstein:

In 2002, Ray Merenstein returned to his native Denver after a decade of health care advocacy work in Washington, DC.  Over the course of the next four years, he oversaw the fundraising for The Children’s Hospital Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders, Children’s Miracle Network, and The Children’s Hospital Research Institute as part of The Children’s Hospital Foundation’s $250 million Imagine the Miracles comprehensive campaign.  In 2004, under his leadership, approximately $15 million were raised for these entities as part of a $51 million record fundraising year for The Children’s Hospital Foundation. 

In December 2005, Ray launched RDM Communications tying his political, media and fundraising acumen into one package on behalf of government, non-profit and corporate clients.  His development and communications expertise has serviced respected organizations such as The Denver Hospice, Denver Public Library and Mental Health Center of Denver.

He holds a Masters Degree in Mass Communication from the University of Florida and a Bachelor’s Degree in American Studies from Tulane University.  He has been quoted or published in the Wall Street Journal, Science, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Business Week, USA Today, Nature and numerous daily newspapers and broadcast media across the country.

Mr. Merenstein has testified before Congress, spoken at press conferences nationwide and presented regularly to health and communication groups locally and nationally.  He is a State Board of Education appointee to Colorado’s Special Education Advisory Committee. Former volunteer service includes boards of American Jewish Committee, Safe2Tell and Denver Public School Foundation’s Development Committee.  Ray and his wife, Ilana Steinberg, live in Denver with their son and two daughters.  He has a passion for Paddington Bear and Key Lime Pie.

Connect with Ray Merenstein, NAMI Colorado and RDM Communications:

Websites: NAMI Colorado | RDM Communications

Facebook: NAMI Colorado | Ray Merenstein

Linked In: Ray Merenstein | NAMI Colorado

Instagram: Ray Merenstein

“We started creating Sharing Hope, Compartiendo Esperanza and Chai & Chat which are community conversations for persons of color by persons of color that allows you, if you’re in the Asian-American community to have conversations with your fellow members from that community. And then we started going into the schools with Ending the Silence, which is a one-hour program where someone can talk about mental health. We have a young presenter, someone aged 25 or younger, who’s talking to the students as well. It’s just wonderful to watch the eyes open on a young high schooler who sees someone who is only a few years older than them talk about their own struggles.” - Ray Merenstein

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Dr. Lynn Hellerstein, Developmental Optometrist, co-owner of Hellerstein & Brenner Vision Center, P.C., award-winning author and international speaker, holds powerful and inspiring conversations with her guests in the areas of health, wellness, education, sports and psychology. They share their inspirational stories of healing and transformation through their vision expansion. Vision Beyond Sight Podcast will help you see with clarity, gain courage and confidence. Welcome to Vision Beyond Sight!

Dr. Lynn’s books are available at and

Dr. Lynn is available for speaking engagements and consulting. For more information, visit

To learn more about vision therapy or to find a doctor providing vision therapy in your area, visit

To learn more about vision and the impact in concussion/brain injury, visit Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Association.

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About Dr. Lynn

A pioneer in vision therapy and developmental optometry, for more than 30 years, Dr. Lynn Hellerstein has helped thousands of children and adults improve their vision and transform their lives — at home, in the classroom, and most recently on the playing field. Her breakthrough methods unlock barriers to learning and “rewire” around brain injuries, and vision perception or processing deficits. But you don’t have to have a vision problem to benefit: her brain training strategies may be the missing magic if you’re an athlete trying to nail a tricky shot or stay cool in competition. If it’s a skill you can visualize, Dr. Hellerstein can help train your eyes — and mind’s eye — on success.

Award-winning and #1 bestselling author, Dr. Lynn has published numerous professional peer reviewed articles, chapters and four books.

See It. Say It. Do It! (2009) - How to see/recognize your goal, declare your intention, and taking action to achieve your vision.

See It. Say It. Do It! Organize It! (2011) - How to create a step by step process to make achieving your goal a reality.

50 Tips To Improve Your Sports Performance (2013) - How to improve your sports performance today by enhancing eye-mind-body coordination skills, achieving the mental edge, and preventing injuries.

Expand Your Vision (2021) - Discover the power of the seeing brain…the creator of your true vision. Gain Clarity, Courage, and Confidence. In this #1 Amazon best-selling innovative newest book, the power of visualizing and believing in the process to break through internal barriers and create new possibilities for achieving your goal is explored. Visualization can be used to increase creativity, to reduce stress and anxiety, and to build confidence in all of the things that they do.