Categories: News Releases

Stark County, OH (June 25, 2021) – Stark County Mental Health & Addiction Recovery (StarkMHAR) is pleased to recognize five HOPE Award winners and two Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) Award winners; these local people, organizations and law enforcement officers are making strides and influencing change to advance behavioral health care in Stark County at a crucial time.

The following were selected for HOPE Awards: Julie Oster Priebe (Professional of the Year); Ashley Wood (Advocate of the Year); YOUng People Matter (Innovation Award); Light After Loss (Community Champion Award); and Brenna Walker (Young Advocate of the Year). Criteria for each HOPE Award category can be found under “Advocacy” at StarkMHAR.org.

Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) Awards honor people who are advancing best practice in encounters involving those who may be struggling with substance use and/or a mental illness. Officer Chad Carruthers was named the CIT Officer of the Year and Todd Gillilan received the CIT Champion of the Year award.

“As mental health concerns emerge from the pandemic, these individuals will no doubt play key roles in guiding our community forward” said John Aller, executive director of StarkMHAR. “And I hope they might inspire others to do some of this same work as they’re able, even if it’s just a commitment to check in with someone you know every day. Little things like that count.”

Awards were presented at a virtual board of directors meeting on June 24. Information and photos of the honorees will be shared on StarkMHAR’s social media, mainly Facebook.com/StarkMHAR and starkmhar on Instagram.