Nyamuon "Moon" Nguany Machar

Nyamuon "Moon" Nguany Machar works with Disability Rights Maine as a cultural strategist. Moon uses her personal experience with childhood trauma and the gaps she has seen in her community to inform her work and drive her passion for policy change.

Working with the ACE program in the Army National Guard, Moon was dismayed at how service members who experience terrible things are then labeled as "mentally ill," leading to her passion for trauma prevention and recovery. Moon emigrated to the U.S. as a child from South Sudan, and she uses her experience as a refugee to inform her work with immigrants, people with psychiatric disabilities, and other trauma survivors. Moon is also a mentor, advocate and committee member in the South Sudanese community of Maine. She often creatively uses her platform to raise awareness on the hardships going on back home and calls for an end to tribal conflict and tensions.

Recently Moon has partnered with the State of Maine where she co-created and co facilitates a cultural competency course offered to service providers and consumers, called "Why I can't trust you?" This series of workshops aims to explore how we can be more conscientious about how we provide mental health services to communities who aren't familiar with the concepts, language and supports for mental health systems in this country.