National Council for Mental Wellbeing

Skip to content National Council for Mental Wellbeing
Find a Provider
National Council for Mental Wellbeing logo

May 6 Ceremony in Washington Includes Patrick Kennedy, Brandon Marshall, Congressman Ron Barber, and Other Impact and Inspiring Hope Honorees

Contact: Heather Cobb,, 202.684.7457. Event photos will be posted at

May 9, 2014 (Washington, DC) — The National Council for Mental Wellbeing recognizes 19 individuals and organizations that have made outstanding contributions to help people recover from mental illness and substance use disorders through its annual Awards of Excellence.

“The Awards of Excellence pay tribute to those individuals and organizations that honor our legacy by their selflessness and their service,” said Linda Rosenberg, President and CEO of the National Council. “The honorees are our heroes, they have turned private pain into public passion, focused on people’s gifts and abilities not their disabilities, and blended business sense and common sense into community-based solutions.” she added.

The National Council Awards of Excellence feature two main categories. The Impact Awards honor the innovative and inspirational efforts of individuals and organizations — staff, board leaders, volunteers, consum­ers, families, and community partners — who are changing the lives of children, adults, and families living with mental illnesses and substance use disorders. The Inspiring Hope Awards honor the contributions of individuals who live with mental illness, as well as those who treat and support them — inspiring others and improving lives.

An independent panel of mental health leaders chose the winners from a large pool of applicants. Grants of $10,000 — supported by Eli Lilly and Company, Mental Health Risk Retention Group and Negley Associates, Phoenix House, Relias Learning, and Qualifacts, Inc. are made to a nonprofit organization of the honoree’s choosing.

The National Council will recognize the honorees at a special ceremony on May 6 during the 2014 National Council Conference in Washington, DC. Former Representative Patrick Kennedy is the honorary host of the ceremony.  

NFL wide receiver Brandon Marshall is being honored with the Speak Up, Speak Out Award. Through his visibility on the football field and in the public, he has brought the conversation about mental illness into the mainstream by sharing his own journey to come to terms with a diagnosis of borderline personality disorder. He created the Brandon Marshall Foundation to educate, advocate, and help those who’ve lost hope build a better life.

Read about the honorees below or visit



Artistic Expression

Bill Protzmann, Music Teacher, Friend to Friend Program, Episcopal Community Services

On his own journey to recover from schizophrenia and chronic depression, Music helped Protzmann experience his pain in a safe space and work through his emotions. He now shares his healing experience with others with mental illness, survivors of abuse and cancer, children with emotional disturbances and their parents, the terminally ill, caregivers, and seniors.

Community Advocacy

Keith Schafer, Director, Missouri Department of Mental Health

For 27 years, Schafer has improved the lives of thousands of people with mental and substance use disorders. His ability to connect data and metrics with real-life stories of recovery has helped sustain essential services in Missouri during a time of historic budget decline.

Doc of the Year

Syed Arshad Husain, Medical Director, Pathways Community Health

A psychiatrist by training, a teacher by nature, and a humanitarian at heart, Dr. Husain has turned devastation to hope for thousands of children around the world whose lives have been torn apart by trauma. He established the International Center for Psycho-Social Trauma and led a team to Bosnia in the mid-90s to work with children in refugee camps. He also serves as mentor to many psychiatrists and is a prolific author and sought-after speaker.

Educational Achievement

Andrew Steward, Graduate Student, University of Denver

Steward started to experience psychosis in college. Fear of stigma caused anxiety, shame, and social withdrawal for six long years. Now he’s getting ready to graduate from the University of Denver with a master’s in social work. He also earned a music degree with a Lilly Reintegration Scholarship and is about to become a certified music practitioner who can offer music as therapy.


Kenneth Whiddon, Chief Operating Officer, AmerICANWork

In 1999, Whiddon started AmerICANWork to help community behavioral health organizations run supported employment and work programs. Today, his company’s programs help hundreds of people disabled by mental illness get back into the workforce.

Integration & Wellness

Lone Star Circle of Care, Georgetown, TX

In 12 years, Lone Star grew from a small primary care clinic to a health home for more than 100,000 Texans with more than 30 locations. The National Committee for Quality Assurance has recognized Lone Star as a level 3 patient-centered medical home, nearly 90 percent of their clients report that they have same-day access to care.

Mental Health Professional of the Year

Roaya Tyson, Director, Inpatient Services, Gracepoint

For more than 20 years, Tyson has worked as a behavioral health clinician and business leader. At Gracepoint, Tyson has created state-of-the-science mental health ERs — crisis response and stabilization programs that have saved lives and transformed the community. She has advocated tenaciously to raise significant public and private funding for many programs.

Peer Specialist of the Year

Clarence Jordan, Vice President of Wellness and Recovery, ValueOptions

Jordan describes himself as a peer specialist who builds on his own life experiences to help others recover from mental illness and substance use. His health promoter program coaches people with behavioral and physical health challenges to pursue recovery with a strengths-based, person-centered perspective. Jordan shares his story of recovery with colleagues and on Capitol Hill to raise awareness for mental illness, change perceptions, and shape policy.

Public Education

Muffy Walker, Co-Founder & President, Board of Directors, International Bipolar Foundation

Walker’s son was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at age seven. As a psychiatric nurse, she was devastated by the difficult-to-navigate system to get him the care he needed. Gradually, she taught her son to embrace his illness and learn to cope, and also started a support group out of her home for other family members on the same journey, now the International Bipolar Foundation. Walker volunteers 60 hours a week to support the foundation’s outreach in more than 85 countries.

Reintegration Lifetime Achievement

Patrick Hendry, Senior Director, Consumer Advocacy, Mental Health America

Patrick Hendry found new purpose in life when he walked through the door of the Sarah Ann Center, a drop-in center to support recovery from mental illness. He started volunteering at the center and gained a sense of accomplishment. He now travels around the country organizing grassroots peer networks to help underscore the rights of people with mental illness and to help them recover through reintegration into the community.

Rising Star

Ituha Cloud, Certified Peer Support Specialist, InterAct of Michigan

“Let’s Be Bold” is not just the title of Ituha Cloud’s debut album, it’s also his mantra for young people everywhere, especially those who suffer from mental illness and substance use. His escalating substance use over the years, starting at a young age — combined with depression — caused him to lose his home, his family, and hope. Today, Cloud is the health and wellness recovery coach at InterAct, a traveling evangelist, and a leading Christian hip-hop artist.

Science to Service

Prevention and Recovery in Early Psychosis, The Felton Institute, San Francisco, CA

PREP achieves dramatic results in treating individuals with schizophrenia, including an over 70% reduction in hospitalizations and psychiatric crisis within one year, saving participating counties an estimated $15,450 per participant year. Beyond the data, PREP team members say success is achieved when people learn to manage and cope with symptoms so they can achieve their life goals, graduate from college, form meaningful relationships, and live full lives.


Excellence in Behavioral Healthcare Management

Behavioral Health Response, St. Louis, MO

Youth with suicidal or homicidal thoughts — or their family or community members — can call, text, or web chat with a clinician 24/7. BHR services have reduced ER visits, saved costs, and saved lives — 100 percent of young people who called to get help with suicidal or homicidal thoughts agreed to a safety plan and 71 percent were linked to a community provider for treatment and/or housing services within 14 days of the initial call.

Excellence in Health Information Technology

Behavioral Health Link, Atlanta, GA

Behavioral Health Link operates the Georgia Crisis & Access Line. Frustrated with the challenges in accessing care for callers, BHL developed a comprehensive, easy-to-use set of electronic dashboards to track real-time availability of hospital beds, average ER and outpatient wait times, and the time it takes for mobile crisis teams to arrive onsite. This helps to ensure that individuals in need get access to the appropriate level of care close to home and as soon as possible.

Excellence in Addictions Treatment Innovation

Horizon Village, Horizon Health Services, Sanborn, NY

Horizon Village welcomes youth, adults, and veterans with substance use disorders into a comfortable therapeutic setting for a 3-4 month intensive regimen designed to give them a new start to life. The holistic approach boasts success — 85 percent of those who enroll in the program complete their stay, compared to a 57 percent completion rate in the state.

Mental Health First Aid Community Impact

Community Counseling Centers of Chicago, Chicago, IL

C4, the Community Counseling Centers of Chicago, was a pilot training site when the National Council first introduced Mental Health First Aid in the US. As Mental Health First Aid has grown nationally to more than 150,000 individuals trained, C4 has kept pace — training nearly 2,500 individuals and partnering with more than 400 organizations. Today, a full-time program manager and 16 instructors meet the growing demand for Mental Health First Aid in the Chicago area.

Visionary Leadership

Nancy Paull, CEO, Stanley Street Treatment and Resources, Fall River, MA

Paull pioneered the ‘Healthcare Amazon’ concept decades before one-stop shopping for healthcare, ACOs, and health homes began trending nationally. Her comprehensive approach has saved lives and given people with substance use disorders, mental illnesses, and HIV/AIDS a chance to have multiple health needs addressed with one visit. She started at SSTAR as a counselor and worked her way up to CEO.

Visionary Leadership

David Lloyd, Founder, MTM Services, Holly Springs, NC

Lloyd is one of healthcare’s foremost strategic business development pundits known for his “We can do this” strategies. Lloyd has more than 45 years of experience in private for-profit and community behavioral health settings. Lloyd’s expertise in turning data into actionable information is evident in his popular SPQM Dashboards, which have transformed behavioral health analysis and advocacy nationwide. As a leader at a community behavioral health organization, Lloyd enhanced service capacity by 66 percent and reduced wait times for care by 87 percent.


 About the National Council

The National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare (National Council) is the unifying voice of America’s community mental health and addictions treatment organizations. Together with our 2,200 member organizations, we serve our nation’s most vulnerable citizens — the more than 8 million adults and children living with mental illnesses and addiction disorders. We are committed to ensuring all Americans have access to comprehensive, high-quality care that affords every opportunity for recovery and full participation in community life. The National Council pioneered Mental Health First Aid in the U.S. and has trained nearly 150,000 individuals to connect youth and adults in need to mental health and addictions care in their communities. Learn more at