Mental Health America Honors Outstanding Advocates at Its Centennial Conference
Contact: Sarah Jones, 703/837-4783
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (June 15)-Mental Health America honored two extraordinary mental health advocates on Saturday during the final day of its Centennial Conference.
Leading mental health advocate Dr. Jerry Grammer for his tireless efforts to improve conditions for mental health consumers, during its 2009 Centennial Conference in Washington, D.C.
Dr. Jerry Grammar, a clinical psychologist and board member of Mental Health America, received the Sandy Brandt Volunteer Service Award for his dedication to providing quality treatment and services to mental health consumers, and for his successful advocacy on their behalf.
In addition to counseling individuals and families at his practice in Austin, Texas, Dr. Grammer lends his expertise and leadership to countless organizations who share the common goal of promoting mental health and wellness. He has also served as an advocate on the state and federal level, lobbying for the passage of legislation such as the Mental Health Parity Act, the Mental Illness Offender Treatment Act, and the SAMHSA Suicide Prevention Program.
"Dr. Grammer's unwavering commitment to the mental health movement should serve as a benchmark for all of us in the advocacy community," said David Shern, Ph.D., president and CEO of Mental Health America. "We are proud to honor someone who has dedicated his life and career to improving the lives of mental health consumers and their families."
The award is named for Sandy Brant, a long-time Mental Health America volunteer who exemplifies unselfish commitment to the mental health movement.
Mental Health America also presented Taylor Carter of San Antonio, Texas with the mpower award for her exceptional efforts to raise awareness of mental health issues among America's youth.
Carter, 18, was inspired to get involved in the mental health movement at the age of 12 when her younger brother was diagnosed with bi-polar disorder. Since then, she has produced letter-writing campaigns to state and federal legislators and has participated in an anti-stigma video at a local high school. Carter also speaks openly to teens and adults about her experiences with her brother's condition and with her own recent diagnosis of bi-polar disorder.
In addition to these efforts, Carter is an active volunteer at MHA of San Antonio and the local children's mental health hospital.
Carter was presented with this award by author and advocate Ross Szabo.
"Taylor's efforts at such a young age are inspiring," Szabo said. "I am proud to present to her the mpower Award."
mpower, a Mental Health America youth awareness campaign, is supported by hundreds of musicians nationwide and encourages teens and college-age adults to get help for and promote understanding of mental health conditions.
Celebrating 100 years of mental health education and advocacy, Mental Health America is the country's leading nonprofit dedicated to helping all people live mentally healthier lives. With our more than 300 affiliates nationwide, we represent a growing movement of Americans who promote mental wellness for the health and well-being of the nation-every day and in times of crisis. In 2009, we are marking a century of achievement with a year-long Centennial Observance: "Celebrating the Legacy. Forging the Future."