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Shelby County Reporter
Organization awarded for helping those with mental illnessPublished 11:26am Wednesday, August 26, 2015
By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor
ALABASTER – Five years ago, Scott Elder could not imagine doing what he does now. Having been diagnosed with a mental illness shortly after beginning college classes, Elder reached out to a newly formed resource in Shelby County. Five years later, it has changed his life.
“Heck no, this is not the life I had planned for myself,” Elder said during an Aug. 25 meeting of the Shelby County chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness. “But it’s definitely a good life to have.”
When he began attending NAMI support meetings in 2010, Elder’s symptoms began to improve rapidly, and he eventually became a model for the positive impact the organization can have in the lives of locals who are struggling with mental illness.
As Elder improved, he turned his attention to helping others, and today is one of the Shelby County chapter’s strongest certified peer specialists. Elder regularly leads mental illness recovery groups at Bryce Hospital, works for the Jefferson-Blount-St. Clair County Mental Health Authority and works with probate judges in an effort to help those who are facing the challenges he has overcome.
“The other jobs I had before this were basically flipping pizza,” Elder said. “Now, I get to help people when they are struggling the most. That is so rewarding to me.”
Elder’s efforts to help an often-overlooked segment of the population recently helped earn him and his colleagues some praise from the state NAMI organization. During the NAMI state conference in Montgomery from Aug. 20-22, Elder earned the Consumer of the Year award, NAMI Shelby County Director Sherryl Treslar earned the Shining Star Affiliate Leader award and Chilton-Shelby Mental Health Coordinator Daphne Kendrick won the Mental Health Provider of the Year award.
“To have three people win awards, that’s awesome,” Treslar said during a celebration of the chapter following the peer support group meetings on Aug. 25.
The Shelby County chapter, through its Family-to-Family courses, also reaches out to support families and loved ones of those facing mental illness.
“We teach about mental illness, what to do with loved ones who are facing mental illnesses, how to cope and more,” said Family-to-Family program organizer Laura Helenius.
Those interested in taking part in the Family-to-Family program should contact Helenius at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at 267-2986.
To learn more about NAMI Shelby County, visit Namishelby.com.
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SHELBY COUNTY NAMI shows their support at NAMI WALK'S Alabama held in Montgomery September 26th 2015
We would like to Thank Everyone for Supporting NAMI Shelby at the NAMI Alabama Walks. CLICK HERE to watch a video of the walk.
Congratulations to NAMI Alabama for winning the 2016
“Outstanding State Organization”
The Outstanding State Organization Award is given in recognition of exceptional efforts defined by the NAMI Standard of Excellence level in carrying out the NAMI mission on a state level. The Alabama office was awarded this honor for its board leadership, governance and leadership in their advocacy effort.
Shining Star Affiliate Leader Award
Special Recognition Award
for his work with Crisis Response Team Training
for Shelby County
2016 NAMI Shelby at
NAMI Walks ALABAMA
Shelby County Cares about Mental Illness!
Judge Jim Fuhrmeister, NAMI Shelby Board Member, Krista Chick, Special Probate Judge Allison Boyd and Circuit Judge Corey Moore have proclaimed October 2-8 as Mental Illness Awareness Week in Shelby County!
Find Help. Find Hope.
A Large THANK YOU for all you do !!!
Special THANKS to AKA PSI XI OMEGO CHAPTER 11483 for the generous donation to Alabama NAMI Walks / Shelby County