Tri-County Mental Health Services offering behavioral health services for the Kansas City Northland community. Prevention, assessment and treatment services for individuals and families throughout Clay, Platte and Ray counties of Missouri.

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Olympic Athlete Suzy Favor Hamilton held nearly 450 people spellbound with her personal story battling bipolar disorder at the Tri-County Mental Health Services Annual Banquet.

Mental Health Successes
Celebrated at Annual Banquet

A very personal look at the agonies and accomplishments with bipolar disorder and honors for Northlanders promoting mental wellness were on display Monday at the Tri-County Mental Health Services Annual Banquet.

Held at the Argosy Casino Hotel and Spa, the Banquet drew nearly 450 people for an often-emotional evening featuring Suzy Favor Hamilton, three-time Olympic athlete whose battle with bipolar disorder nearly destroyed her life.

“A lot of people can’t believe these behaviors go with the disease,” Hamilton explained, noting loved ones and others often have difficulty dealing with mental illness, too. “I hope that someone will take an inkling of what I’m saying…and have more compassion. And that’s what we need, more compassion.”

A major focus of the event involved awards to area residents and professionals for their services to better the lives of Northland residents with mental illness. Tri-County CEO Tom Petrizzo and master of ceremonies Carolyn Long of KCTV5 made the presentations.

The first honor went to Karen Dolt who received the Phoenix Community Achievement Award for her years of efforts in both her personal and professional lives. Executive Director of Northland Healthcare Access and Chair of the Northland Community Foundation, Dolt has also led the Northland United Way and served in countless other volunteer and leadership positions.

Stella Hawley was recognized as Outstanding Consumer of the Year for her personal recovery and willingness to share insights as a volunteer. She has generously shared her story in order to help others who are also dealing with a mental illness.

Tri-County Employee of the Year Lauren Quint was honored not just for her outstanding work service, but also her willingness to provide additional care. Described as “constantly doing something extra,” Quint consistently volunteers for committees and other additional service.

Outstanding Professional in Behavioral Health Tim Donaldson was recognized for decades of leadership in Northland mental health care. Donaldson has been a tireless advocate for consumers while leading multiple Northland service efforts to assist them in leading full lives.

Tri-County Older Adult Educator Becky Franklin was presented the Outstanding Provider Achievement Award. Franklin has driven miles and talked to thousands in order to serve the older adult community and their supporters in Clay, Platte and Ray counties.

The North Kansas City School District School Community Resource Specialists received the 2017 Outstanding Commitment to Prevention Award. Over the past decade, these School Community Resource Specialists have been instrumental in ensuring that prevention reaches the youth and families in the North Kansas City School District and beyond. Teaching and Reaching Youth, or TRY coalitions, in the Staley, Oak Park and North Kansas City area are led by the school’s community resource specialists, Heather Brennan, Jesse Tyler and Tammy Slauson.

Clay County School Resource Deputies with the Crisis Intervention Team received the CIT Agency of the Year Award. Accepting this award were Cpl. Scott Archer, Sgt. Steve Taylor, Deputy Shepherd Owens, Deputy Gary Johnson and Deputy Devin Phillips. The officers were recognized for their deep commitment to the mental health needs of children and youth in the schools where they serve.

CEO Petrizzo reviewed Tri-County recent successes, including expansion of the school liaison program, which already placed a mental health therapist in the North Kansas City School District. “We are not passively sitting and waiting for consumers to find us, either,” Petrizzo said. “This program has helped hundreds of families in North Kansas City, and in this new school year, we are expanding it to the Park Hill School District.”

Other service improvements include a new Gladstone location and complete remodel of the main location near Maple Woods Community College. Petrizzo said that in fiscal year 2017, Tri-County served over 8,000 people and helped many more. “Those 8,000 are individuals,” he said. “Nearly every one of them has family and friends who are also positively impacted by services received from Tri-County.”

24-Hour Emergency Crisis Line 1-888-279-8188 (TTY or Voice: 1-800-380-3323)

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