Careers Blog > Meet Michelle Padilla, Legal Operations Specialist

Meet Michelle Padilla, Legal Operations Specialist


Tell us about NAMIWalks.

NAMIWalks is NAMI’s annual nationwide fundraising event focused on the goal of ‘Mental Health for All.’ These walks are held in different cities across the nation to (i) promote awareness of mental health and reduce stigma; (ii) raise funds for NAMI’s free, top-rated mental health programs; and (iii) build community and let people know they are not alone. NAMI is the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness.


Why do you participate in this event and why does ResMed supports this event?

I walk because NAMI is where I found the support, resources, and community I desperately needed while in the throes of a family mental health crisis in October 2021. Their Family-to-FamilyNAMI Homefront, and Peer-to-Peer programs saved us from the despair and loneliness we experienced while navigating this uncharted and confusing time. Through this experience, I discovered the lack of education and training some of our healthcare providers and law enforcement possessed in dealing with mental health crises, and resources and guidance were difficult to find and trust. I recall being told by multiple providers to call the police as a “best” response to the fear and confusion my family and I experienced during this time. My intuition told me not to call the police, and I am grateful I didn’t because it would have created additional chaos during an already chaotic situation. NAMI’s free programs offered the support, guidance, and resources my family needed to feel safe, seen, and heard.

I would never want someone to feel alone and lost in this journey, so in January 2023, the Asian and Pacific Islander Representation and Empowerment (ASPIRE) employee resource group, in partnership with the Belonging, Inclusion, and Diversity for Success team (BIDS), planned and kicked off AAPI Heritage Month and Mental Health Awareness Month with ResMed’s participation in NAMIWalks San Diego and Imperial Counties. As a sleep health company, we recognize the importance in elevating our voices to highlight how mental health is physical health and prioritizing one’s mental health though great sleep is key so each of us shows up as their very best every day. While there is still a long road ahead to normalize the discussion and reduce the stigma around mental health, ResMed provides a platform and a safe space to share their personal and lived experiences without judgement or fear. For me, it has been an honor and privilege to be part of this mission at ResMed.

This year, Team ResMed was a team of 19 strong and we raised $1,025 in support of this amazing organization. My hope for 2025 is to double our efforts and bring NAMIWalks to the cities where our ResMedians reside so they can come together in solidarity and find community and connection through events like NAMIWalks.

Can you share your personal story of past NAMIWalks events highlighting the impact it has had on your work life at ResMed?

Mental health and wellness were never a discussion topic when I was growing up. In fact, it was dismissed as ‘not a real thing;’ that if you train your mind to be strong, you can overcome anything. While in some ways this statement rings true, it disregards the importance and necessity of checking in with yourself – mind, body, and spirit. I went about my daily life ignoring my symptoms of depression until I couldn’t anymore. While I sought out help for my depression through the years through therapy, exercise, and retreat programs, it wasn’t until October 2021, when my family experienced a mental health crisis that I fully grasped the importance of understanding mental health and wellness. During this family crisis, I was hard hit with the realization that most people don’t know how to respond or help, and I remember feeling so alone and lost. I want you to know that you are not alone. NAMI’s Family-to-Family program helped guide my family through the crisis and continuing recovery, and the peer and family support groups and learning opportunities have provided the education, knowledge, and resources I needed to look at mental health from a lens of empathy and love.

From this experience, I discovered a newfound passion to help others living with mental conditions and to support caretakers who give themselves wholeheartedly to their loved ones.

NAMI’s free life-changing programs have been a beacon of hope for me and my family, so I walk to help break the stigma, normalize the discussion at home and in the workplace, and to offer support and love.

Being part of ASPIRE and ResMed has blessed me with many opportunities to meet and work with some of the most dedicated and passionate individuals. Their willingness to be vulnerable and share their stories has helped me grow professionally and personally, and it motivates me to show up at work with more joy, excitement, and empathy.

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