Mental Health America Honors Leading Mental Health Advocates for Service, Innovation and Cultural Competency
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (June 11, 2007) - Mental Health America honored four mental health leaders for their dedication to improving the mental health of all Americans at the Closing Night Dinner of its Annual Meeting, Bringing Wellness Home, in Washington D.C. on June 9, 2007.
"These award winners exemplify the exceptional energy, commitment, dedication and creativity necessary to fight against mental health stigma," said David Shern, Ph.D., president and CEO of Mental Health America. "Our four honorees today have greatly improved the lives of countless Americans through their tireless efforts to improve our nation's mental health."
Mental Health America award winners include:
Sandy Brant Volunteer Service Award - Rebecca Fuentes-Batchelor (Mobile, AL)
Mental Health America honors Rebecca Fuentes-Batchelor with the Sandy Brant Volunteer Service Award. Since 2002, Fuentes-Batchelor has worked tirelessly as the volunteer president of Mental Health America's Southwest Alabama affiliate. Not only has she sustained her association's existence, but has simultaneously expanded its programs and services. Throughout her community, Fuentes-Batchelor's unwavering commitment to help those living with mental illness has made an enormous impact.
Innovation in Programming Award - Mental Health Association in New Jersey and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey
Mental Health Association in New Jersey and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey receive the Innovation in Programming Award for their CHOICES program. CHOICES is a consumer-driven initiative that strives to meet the needs of smokers with mental illnesses by increasing awareness of the importance of addressing tobacco use and by creating a strong peer support network that encourages mental health consumers to make a positive healthy lifestyle change by addressing smoking and tobacco use. Through its peer-to-peer approach, CHOICES has reached more than 2,000 people.
Betty Humphrey Cultural Competency Award - Mental Health Association in Passaic County, NJ
The Betty Humphrey Cultural Competency Award this year honors the Mental Health Association in Passaic County, New Jersey, for its Arab-American Community Services Partnership. By forging relationships between the Arab-American community and mental health and social service providers, this organization has both created greater cultural awareness and identified strategies to increase access to and utilization of services by this population. The program has earned great success, serving since its inception more than 1,000 social service professionals, 35 families, and 45 individuals.
Mental Health America is the country's leading nonprofit dedicated to helping ALL people live mentally healthier lives. With our more than 320 affiliates nationwide, we represent a growing movement of Americans who promote mental wellness for the health and well-being of the nation - everyday and in times of crisis.