The CMHACY Board and Friends would value your help in identifying nominees for the awards presented at our virtual 41st annual conference this April.
Each year California Mental Health Advocates for Children and Youth (CMHACY) singles out and highlights the efforts of stakeholders who have made a significant contribution in advancing mental wellness for California’s children and youth. These brief moments of celebration serve to remind us that ongoing efforts to improving the lives of children, youth and families/caregivers do not go unnoticed. The awards shine a light on recipients while they are among their peers and colleagues. Three separate achievement awards will be presented at the virtual conference in April 2021.
One of the primary goals of the CMHACY conference has been peer-to-peer dissemination of promising practices, culturally specific programs, youth/family focused in nature, with measurable results that can be replicated in other locations throughout the State. Nominations in this category can include new programs or programs that adapt state or national models to specific communities, broaden service populations, or improve outcomes with the addition of new partners. The scope is very wide.
Improvements in public child/family mental health at the local and state levels does not happen without the efforts of a champion or leader. This category seeks to identify a colleague(s) who has seized upon opportunities to build something bigger, something better – either as a pilot program or through legislation or regulatory changes – and who is undaunted by competing priorities and/or funding and authority conflicts. CMHACY has granted this award to legislators, legislative aides, Boards of Supervisors, personnel from county and state offices, private providers and parent advocates.
In October of 2018, CMHACY lost Jim Preis to cancer—a former CMHACY Board member, Friend, frequent workshop presenter and moderator of our Friday Policy Panels. Jim was legendary In the children’s mental health movement in California and across the nation. Through his big battles, little skirmishes, productive collaborations, and persistent refusals to accept injustices, we witnessed decades of Jim’s undaunting and collegial efforts to improve the lives of Californians. As Executive Director of Mental Health Advocacy Services, Inc. in Los Angeles Jim dedicated his work and his life to improving access to and services/supports for people with mental health and emotional challenges. Jim’s impact was huge in the children’s mental health movement exemplified by his role as lead attorney on the lawsuit that in California expanded EPSTD to include mental health services. In honor of his many contributions the CMHACY Board has dedicated the Advocate of the Year award to Jim. By renaming the award in his honor, it will serve as an annual reminder of the extraordinary deeds that we can accomplish working together, and the incredible individual work he took on across his decades of service. CMHACY will honor his memory by recognizing an individual who demonstrate an unwavering commitment to improving the lives of children, youth and families and who shares the values and commitment to service that Jim stood for and for which he fought.