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Mental Health Services Recognition Awards – Interim Celebrates Service!

By June 21, 2022No Comments

Katy Eckert, Bureau Chief, Monterey County Behavioral Health

In celebration of Mental Health Month, Interim, Inc.’s OMNI Center put on their annual event, the Mental Health Services Recognition Awards, which recognizes consumers, volunteers, and mental health care providers who are passionate about being of service.

Over 180 people gathered at the Monterey County Fairgrounds for an outdoor event with local food from Kona Jerry BBQ, music from DJ Linda, and awards and recognition for some very dedicated individuals. Peer Outreach and Advocacy Coordinator Kontrena McPheter hosted the event and recognized her team of Interim Success over Stigma (SOS) speakers including Fabian Martin, Wellness Navigator at the OMNI Center, who shared his personal story on behalf of the SOS program.

To a crowd of Interim staff and clients, Katy Eckert, Bureau Chief of Monterey County Behavioral Health (MCBH), declared that “this is a time of change in mental health.” Katy shared her perspective on the state of the mental health system and the plans MCBH has for the future.
Interim Board President Diana Rosenthal spoke to the spirit of volunteering, as well as the feeling of fellowship that comes with it. Executive Director, Barbara Mitchell, and Katy Eckert presented the David Soskin Memorial Awards.
The Kristin Hart Memorial Award was presented by Kontrena.

The Kristin Hart award is presented to a consumer who volunteers and gives unconditionally of themselves to improve the lives of others and is a positive role model in the mental health community.

Kristin Hart was a former resident in our Community Housing Program. A MPC student, she was extremely artistic. She designed the t-shirts that Interim staff and clients used when we participated in the Big Sur Marathon 5K race. She also inspired people to do something for others and reached out to help people in need of assistance. She said that if you reach out to others, you will succeed in whatever you do for yourself and other people.

This year’s Kristen Hart award winner was Asher Rodden. He volunteers for the Our Voices peer support program. He is the first person to show up and offer a hand when needed, and volunteers for every Interim holiday meal event.