MHA of LC Celebrates 60 Years with Many Awards Given

Mental Health America Celebrates 60 Years With Many Awards Given

Newark, OH, December 31, 2013:   Mental Health America of Licking County held its annual dinner and celebration on Saturday, November 16th at the Reese Center.  It was a night filled with awards and special occasions. While it was the 60th anniversary of Mental Health America of Licking County, it was also a night to celebrate the many accomplishments of Paddy Kutz, Executive Director at Mental Health America of Licking County who retired after 32 years.  Many special guests were in attendance including many past employees and National Mental Health America President, Dr. David Shern.  Thanks to support from Park National Bank, Gannett Company, The Boeing Company, Englefield Oil, and Mr. & Mrs. James Havens, over 40 consumers and students who might not have been able to come, were there as our guests to watch one of their favorite people retire…Paddy Kutz.

Two other important individuals were also celebrated at the event.  Dr. William Knobeloch, Newark pediatrician, was awarded Physician of the Year, to recognize his service to the citizens of Licking County as well as bringing the Read for 20 Program to the Licking County community.  Ben Fox was awarded Consumer of the Year.  Although Ben is 21, he has struggled from the time he was a child and into adulthood with ADHD and Bipolar Disorder.  He is now gainfully employed and is sharing his story.  “My advice to parents with children who are struggling”, said Ben,“ is to not give up trying to get help”.

An always popular feature of the event is the army of “Celebrity Servers.” This year, servers consisted of judges, business owners, school superintendents, agency executives and more…all lending their smiles and hands to serve the 200 guests attending.

Mental Health America was also very excited to have the Mental Health Bell at the banquet, thanks to generous donations from State Farm Insurance, Licking Memorial Health Systems, and J Wesley Consulting.  During the early days of mental health treatment, asylums often restrained people who had mental illnesses with iron chains and shackles around their ankles and wrists. With better understanding and treatments, this cruel practice eventually stopped. In the early 1950s, Mental Health America issued a call to asylums across the country for their discarded chains and shackles, melted down these inhumane bindings and recast them into a sign of hope: The Mental Health Bell, and inscribed on it, “Cast from shackles which bound them, this bell shall ring out hope for the mentally ill and victory over mental illness.

Mental Health America of Licking County, an affiliate of Mental Health America, is a partner agency of the United Way and Mental Health & Recovery for Licking and Knox County.