On May 18th, 2017 Rebekah Leon, Associate Executive Director, at the Mental Health Association in Passaic County received the 2017 Advocate of the Year Award for at the Mental Health Awareness Dinner, which was hosted by Paterson Stigma-Free. We are very proud of her and she so deserved this award because of her dedication and advocacy in mental health for the past 28 years. 17 of those years has been with the Mental Health Association in Passaic County! She is committed to providing support and education to the community and the clients she serves. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and is a Certified Social Worker, a Disaster Response Crisis Team Leader and a Mental Health First Aid USA Instructor. She is the Passaic County Mental Health Crisis Intervention Training Coordinator and has been instrumental in training over 300 law enforcement personnel throughout the county. She has been a featured presenter at state, national and international conferences about parents who have a psychiatric diagnosis and their children, peer supervision and support services. She has participated on a variety of committees, task forces and advisory groups. Rebekah considers herself fortunate to have worked for organizations and collaborated with others who share her belief that recovery is possible and opportunities can be made when people come together.
The event was organized by the Paterson Stigma-Free and Growing in Grace Counseling Center under the leadership of Sharrieff Bugg and his devoted group of volunteers. Their group is dedicated to bringing awareness about mental health issues, acting as a liaison in providing access to professional counseling services and promoting suicide prevention.