Western Mass Peer Network Awards Banquet


On Friday, May 12, 2017 the Western Mass Peer Network hosted its second awards banquet recognizing the power of peer rolesmonique (and those behind them) in the region. This year’s banquet welcomed over 100 people, including Representative John Velis (Westfield), and Representative Susannah Whipps (Franklin County), as well as Jon Gould on behalf of Senator Adam Hind’s office.

The event’s host was Monique Flynn, who works in a peer role at Mental Health Association in Springfield. Monique also received the ‘Change Agent’ award!

To kick off the banquet, Darby Penney joined us from New York State to offer a keynote entitled ‘Nothing About Us Without Us: Leading From Experience, Resisting Co-Optation.’ Some of her closing recommendations to providers aiming to support peer roles included:

▪ Learn about movement history and valuesdarby
▪ Make good-faith efforts to change attitudes
▪ Ensure people with psychiatric histories are at the table right from the beginning and in meaningful roles
▪ Value their contributions financially
▪ And take them seriously!

Directly following Darby’s talk, Monique kicked off the awards portion of the event. Award winners included:

Innovation Award: Jeannie Bass (Tewksbury State Hospital) and Caroline White (Western Mass RLC) 
Exceptional Volunteerism Award: Maria Santiago (Western Mass RLC)
Social Justice Award: Michaelann Bewsee (Arise for Social Justice)
Ally Award: Nancy Murphy (Disability Law Center)
Change Agent Award: Monique Flynn (Mental Health Association)
Living the Values Award: Erin Levesque (Western Mass RLC)
Hero Award: Martha Barbone (Transformation Center)
Turntable Award: Susan Sprung (Department of Mental Health)

Thank you to all of the event sponsors: The Western Mass RLC, the Carson Center, the Behavioral Health Network, Clinical & Support Options, and the Brien Center!

wmpn pics 2