Nominees for the prestigious annual Terri Belske Mental Health Advocate of the Year award are being sought for 2019. Belske was one of the first mental health consumers in New Jersey to sit on high-level state and county public policy committees.

The Boonton resident, who died in 2016 at age 54, was a staunch defender and supporter of people who did not have a voice to advocate for themselves in the public arena. Annual honorees are role models who represent Morris County in advocating for the rights of all people with mental illness.

The award will recognize a person who has experienced mental illness, including substance use, and has:

  • Demonstrated leadership as an advocate for adequate community resources to support individuals in their journey to recovery
  • Shown courage in representing the interests of individuals who have experienced mental illness and addictions
  • Demonstrated kindness and compassion for others in need
  • Acted as the voice for those who are not in a position to speak out for themselves.

Nominations must include a summary about the candidate and the reasons she or he merits the award (maximum 500 words). Send nominations to Morris County’s mental health administrator, Laurie Becker, at lbecker@co.morris.nj.us by Friday, May 3.

The award will be presented at Morris County’s Public Forum: Many Faces of Recovery event on June 18 from 5:30-8:00 p.m. at the Haggerty Center (Frelinghuysen Arboretum in Morris Township). For more information, call 973-285-6852.

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