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NAMI Utah Receives Community Investment Award

Sue Reeves

10/07/2015

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From left: Gordon Richins, Mat Bone, and Jamie Justice

National Alliance on Mental Illness-Utah (NAMI), a West Valley City-area non-profit, has received the Community Investment Award from the Consumer Advisory Council at Utah State University’s Center for Persons with Disabilities. The $500 award was presented by Gordon Richins, the CPD’s Consumer Advocate, Shane Johnson, Associate Director of Development at the CPD, and Mat Bone, vice-chair of the CAC.

The CAC, which is comprised of five self-advocates, five parents and five non-profit agency representatives, gives the award twice a year. CAC members nominate, advocate and vote for the recipients.

NAMI-Utah was nominated by Adina Zahradnikova of the Disability Law Center. NAMI-Utah’s mission is to ensure the dignity and improve the lives of those who live with mental illness and their families through support, education and advocacy.

“NAMI is recognized as the preeminent voice in Utah for the thousands of Utahans living with serious mental illness,” said Zahradnikova in the nomination letter. “NAMI advocates have fought for policy changes that raise the bar on mental illness care and promote treatment and research on par with other illnesses. NAMI's advocacy provides a unique voice for people who live with mental illness and their families in state and federal public and private-sector policies that facilitate research, end discrimination, reduce barriers to successful life in the community and promote timely, comprehensive and effective mental health services and supports. NAMI-Utah works steadily to influence critical state policy debates as they unfold. They are the one constant presence providing resources and supports to county jail inmates and state prisons with mental illness.”

Jamie Justice, executive director of NAMI-Utah, said, “It’s always really wonderful to be recognized by your peers. We feel passionate about our work. We live it and we breathe it.”

Justice credited the volunteers and the local team for the success of NAMI-Utah.

“It’s their dedication, their passion and their commitment that makes NAMI a home and a saving place for people who live with mental illness,” she said.

Visit the NAMI-Utah website.

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