Mental Health America Applauds Board Member Jacki McKinney on Lifetime Achievement Award from SAMHSA
Contact: Steve Vetzner, (703)797-2588 or email@example.com
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (August 25, 2011)—Mental Health America today applauded board member Jacki McKinney, M.S.W., on receiving a Lifetime Achievement Voice Award from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) for her leadership and advocacy on behalf of trauma survivors.
Jacki is a survivor of early childhood abuse who experienced co-occurring mental and substance use disorders, homelessness, and interactions with the criminal justice system.
The award notes that: “For 21 years, she has been a vital force in the consumer/peer support movement, particularly for people of color and women. Jacki has been referred to as the ‘co-founder of trauma awareness in America.’”
The award was presented yesterday evening at the 2011 Voice Awards ceremony in Hollywood, CA. The annual event brings together representatives from the entertainment industry and the behavioral health community for an evening of awareness-raising about the contributions people living with mental and substance use disorders make to their schools, workplaces, and communities.
“This award is well-deserved recognition for Jacki’s enormous contributions and national leadership in advocating for trauma survivors,” said David Shern, Ph.D., president and CEO of Mental Health America.
“All of us who have been privileged to know Jacki for many years recognize the tremendous difference that she has made in the lives of many individuals and in educating all of us about resilience and recovery. She’s a national treasure and it is wonderful to see her achievements being formally recognized.”
Several members of the MHA of Los Angeles affiliate were in attendance at the ceremony to congratulate Jackie.
Sponsored by SAMHSA, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and Center for Mental Health Services, the Voice Awards honor consumer/peer leaders who have played a vital role in raising both awareness and understanding of behavioral health (mental health and/or addiction issues) and promoted the social inclusion of individuals with behavioral health problems. Through their exemplary leadership and advocacy, they demonstrate that recovery is real and that individuals with behavioral health problems are valuable, contributing members of their schools, workplaces, and communities.
Jacki is a co-founder of the National People of Color Consumer/Survivor Network and has led the charge for people with mental illness from diverse backgrounds to define their own issues for change and recovery. In 1999, McKinney coordinated the first People of Color Conference held at Alternatives, a national summit for people with mental illness and survivors of the mental health system.
McKinney's work around issues of trauma include serving as a consultant to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's Women, Co-Occurring Disorders and Violence Study and developing a "Certificate of Proficiency in Understanding Trauma" for people with mental illness who have worked in the mental health field but lack formal education and training. She has also helped women with mental illness who are incarcerated through her work with the Women's Prison Association.
In 2003, she was presented the Clifford W. Beers Award, Mental Health America’s highest honor, for her work and leadership.
Mental Health America (www.mentalhealthamerica.net) is the nation’s largest and oldest community-based network dedicated to helping all Americans achieve wellness by living mentally healthier lives. With our more than 300 affiliates across the country, we touch the lives of millions—Advocating for changes in mental health and wellness policy; Educating the public & providing critical information; and delivering urgently needed mental health and wellness Programs and Services.