The Community Impact Award recognizes individuals who are involved in a variety of activities or are deeply engaged in the operation or administration of one agency.
For many who live with mental illness, there is a lifelong struggle filled with exhilarating peaks and devastating valleys. For every step forward, there can be several steps backward. The experience can be overwhelming.
As a survivor of schizoaffective disorder, Susan Hatfield lives these challenges and provides hope for many. She works tirelessly to erase the stigma of mental illness as a dedicated Mental Health America of Middle Tennessee volunteer.
For nearly six years, Susan has served as a board member for Mental Health America of Middle Tennessee, gifting thousands of volunteer hours to help the agency achieve its mission. No task is too big or small for her. She does everything from entering data gleaned from children’s presentations on topics like bullying, stress, and body image to registering racers for the agency’s signature event, Runnin’ to Beat the Blues. Perhaps most significantly, Susan is an active member of the Mental Health America of Middle Tennessee Speaker’s Bureau. Through her presentations, she shares mental health and wellness tips, as well as her personal success story.
Prior to volunteering with Mental Health America of Middle Tennessee, Susan was hospitalized 24 times in 25 years. She lived in a group residential facility for three years before “graduating” to her own apartment and employment. About this transformation, she says, “I was a caterpillar turning into a butterfly.”
Today, Susan is a productive, independent, whole person and a tenacious champion for mental health as a leading Mental Health America of Middle Tennessee volunteer.
“My motto is ‘What can you say yes to’,” says an enthusiastic Creely Wilson.
Rob Crittenden (1943-2012)
Nominated by Nashville CARES
After retiring from his career as an educator and principal, Robert Crittenden made community service his fulltime job. He frequently volunteered with his church and with Nashville CARES, a nonprofit that promotes and participates in a comprehensive and compassionate response to HIV/AIDS in Middle Tennessee.