National Alliance on Mental Illness
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Richard T. Greer Advocacy Award - Naomi Verdugo
Awarded Friday, June 22, during the Symposia - Evidence-Based Practices for Children
Named for Dick Greer, NAMI's first legislative director and a lifelong grassroots advocate, the Richard T. Greer Advocacy Award is given for leadership and vision that have resulted in significant improvements for people on the state and/or local level.
Naomi Verdugo, who lives in Arlington, Virginia, was frustrated by the lack of programs to help families with a child or teen with a mental illness. So, she went to work. Almost single-handedly, she brought to light the magnitude of service gaps in Northern Virginia and, even more importantly, proposed workable programs to fill these gaps. NAMI salutes this kind of individual initiative, combined with bureaucratic savvy and a clear vision of the way forward.