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April 16, 2012, Chicago, IL — National Council for Mental Wellbeing (National Council) is presenting seven individuals and organizations with mental health and addictions care awards called the Awards of Excellence at its 42nd National Mental Health and Addictions Conference in Chicago today. The awards, the most prestigious in behavioral healthcare, recognize innovative and inspirational work happening in behavioral health organizations nationwide.

“The honorees have set themselves apart through exemplary service to some of our most vulnerable citizens, truly changing the lives of children, adults, and families with mental illness and addiction disorders,” said Linda Rosenberg, the National Council’s President and CEO. “Their tireless efforts have put many people struggling with mental illness and addictions on the road to recovery.”

AWARDS OF EXCELLENCE WINNERS INCLUDE:

  • Central Arizona Programmatic Suicide Deterrent System in Phoenix is being recognized with the Excellence in Service Innovation award for its groundbreaking initiative to reduce to zero the number of suicides among people with serious mental illness enrolled in the region’s public health system. The project, a collaboration with Magellan Health Services of Arizona’s provider partners and the Arizona Department of Health Services/Division of Behavioral Health Services, led a collaborative with community leaders to change the culture around suicide, arm provider agency staff and families with skills and knowledge to intervene with those most at risk, and create a framework to address this major public health problem. Since 2007, the initiative has succeeded in reducing the suicide death by nearly 50 percent for those with serious mental illness.
  • The Children’s Crisis Treatment Center in Philadelphia receives the Excellence in Behavioral Healthcare Management award for its Health and Family Services in the Therapeutic Nursery program, which enables family members to become informed advocates on behalf of their children as they enter schools. Families of children in therapeutic nurseries are encouraged to participate in skill-building workshops that cover topics like anger management, parental self-care, the impact of grief and loss on children, and learning to advocate for special education services. The treatment center is devoted to serving the emotional needs of children beginning in early childhood to help them reach their full potential regardless of their challenges.
  • The Midwestern Colorado Mental Health Center in Montrose, CO is being honored with the Excellence in Health Information Technology award for the development of its Patient Tools technology that more successfully screens people for behavioral health concerns in a variety of settings. The hand-held electronic tablet uses trigger logic, screening metrics, assessment metrics, and key questions in a digital patient-client interview. The assessments are completed by the client and automatically scored, producing results within seconds. The innovative tablet has helped the center make tremendous progress in identifying and treating behavioral health illnesses that would otherwise have gone undiagnosed and untreated.
  • Susan Salasin, Director, Trauma and Trauma-Informed Care Program, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, receives the Excellence in Public Service award for her pioneering work on trauma and trauma-informed care during her federal career dedicated to recovery and healing for victims of crime and violence. At age 16 she was a victim of a violent crime. She has spent her career working to improve the lives of people with similar experiences. Among her many accomplishments, she initiated work on women and trauma as co-director of a Harvard collaborative study on women and depression, which revealed that women are twice as depressed as men.

RECIPIENTS OF THE VISIONARY LEADERSHIP AWARD ARE:

  • Clayton Chau, MD, PhD, Associate Medical Director, Orange County Health Care Agency, Orange County, CA, has been a driving force for almost 20 years in advocacy for people living with mental illness throughout California, particularly Orange County. He has built strong relationships with diverse communities in the county including refugees, the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender population, ethnic minorities, government, and academia. In retelling his experience with depression, he has served as a role model who demonstrates that a person with mental illness can lead a productive, successful life. A Vietnam refugee, he has worked to set up an organization to help family members of those suffering from behavioral health disorders.
  • Dale K. Klatzker, PhD, MSW, President and CEO, The Providence Center, Providence, RI, has based his career on his belief that people with mental illness are best served in the community with a full continuum of care that addresses the whole person. His philosophy that good care equates to clients receiving the right amount of consumer-centered, recovery-focused care at the right time and for right duration; that providing a full continuum of community-based behavioral health services will improve care and decrease costly emergency room visits and unnecessary inpatient admissions; and treating the whole person by providing integrated and coordinated primary and behavioral healthcare has been the catalyst for innovation at both The Providence Center and Rhode Island. Klatzker’s strategic leadership has brought about positive change as a National Council board member and chair, Dale guided the organization’s ‘big tent’ approach to membership and its commitment to public policy leadership.
  • Dale Rinard, former President and CEO, TERROS, Phoenix, AZ, transformed the community-based behavioral health organization that was on the brink of financial collapse when arrived in 1995. During his last full year of leadership in 2010, TERROS served more than 30,000 people providing prevention, treatment and recovery services. In his 16 years as CEO, he grew the organization from 110 employees and a $5.5 million budget to a company with 450 employees and a $30 million budget. In 2007-08, he demonstrated visionary leadership by helping to form two new behavioral health networks, including the Crisis Response Network which established a live telephone crisis hotline service 24 hours a day. Though now retired, his influence, expectations and values are still alive in the organization he so expertly led.

For press passes to the mental health and addictions care awards ceremony or to speak to the honorees, contact: Mike Weaver at MikeW@thenationalcouncil.org or 240.676.7224