My name is Heather Christensen and I am the Events Coordinator at NAMI of Erie County. I would like to nominate Rick Albertson for the "l am the Evidence" Award in recognition of his ourstanding teadership and tireless efforts in mental health awareness and education.
I have had the pleasure of getting to know Rick since I joined the NAMI staff a year ago. Part of my role ar NAMI is to organize our programs and support groups, where Rick is a leader in both. Rick began volunteering at NAMI in the fall of 2016 when he became a mentor for our peer-to-peer program, which is a l0 week educational prograrn for adults with mental illness who are looking to better understand mental wellness and their iourney toward recovery. Rick has experienced a significant level of recovery and is able to lead the class through difficuft dircussions and interactive workshops. This past session of Peer-to-Peer included some interpersonal conflicts among the participants. Rick was able to react to and deescalate the situation quickly, while maintaining his own composure in a difficult situation.
Rick has a balanced treatment plan that has allowed him to take on leadership opportunities, and he is always striving to better himself so that he can help more mental health consumers. Rick is a Certified Peer Specialist and meets with consumers on a regular basis to help them on their road to recovery. Rick's efforts on behalf of NAMI of Erie County have helped numerous mental health consumers on their recovery journey. I am happy to have the opportunity to nominate him for the "I am the Evidence" award and strongly support his candidacy.