The 2018 Tony Hoffman Awards for Mental Health Service were presented on Wednesday, May 2. Presented by the Mental Health and Substance Abuse Recovery Commission, these awards recognize individuals, professionals, businesses, or media representatives who have made an extraordinary difference in the lives of people with mental illness and the San Mateo County community.
We are proud to announce two of our very own were awarded for the Service Provider category: Child Psychiatrist Muir Hooper and Mental Health Counselor Claudia Saggese. Loren Shea from NAMI SMC was awarded in the Client/Volunteer category, and the Language Circle of California, Inc. was awarded in the Business category.
Members of the commission presented each recipient with their award. Randy Trujillos, legislative aide for Supervisor Dave Pine, also presented each honoree with a special commendation from the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors.
“We’ll continue to do our best and train new blood to serve the families in need in the community,” said a representative for Language Circle of California, Inc.
Dr. Hooper, one of the only Spanish speaking psychiatrists in the BHRS youth system, took the opportunity to voice the need for more bilingual and bicultural service providers in our system, “Our families ultimately deserve to have, on all levels of our system, people that look like them and can relate to them.”
The honorees also shared what they’ve learned from their work with the behavioral health community.
“I’ve come to find that people with mental illness are some of the most compassionate people and have such a great sense of empathy and unique perspective on the world,” Loren said as she accepted her award. “We all have so much to learn from them.”
Claudia Sagesse accepted her award with kind words that ring true for many BHRS staff.
“It’s always been an honor and a privilege to work for San Mateo County with my coworkers,” she said. “Every day doesn’t feel like I’m coming to work. I’m just coming home – to help people. I do what I love every day.”
Read more about the honorees here.