Every quarter, we will be highlighting
the work of a mental health advocate in the state of the Vermont.
We thought we would start by introducing ourselves first.
The Vermont Association
for Mental Health (VAMH) is one of the states oldest citizen-based
organizations, founded in 1938. Based in Montpelier, Vermont,
the Mental Health Association has operated with a staff of one
or two dedicated individuals, guided by a Board of Directors reflecting
the diversity of Vermonts concerned citizens.
and Penny at the VAMH Annual Meeting, November 2001, celebrating
Ken's 20 years with the Vermont Association for Mental Health!
has been the Association's Executive Director since 1981 and during
this period, the Association has been a stable and energized citizens'
organization. During his tenure and because of his leadership,
Vermont passed the nations most progressive and extensive
parity bill for mental health and substance abuse in 1997. Besides
his work in Vermont, Ken has been a frequent guest speaker, consultant
and advisor to programs throughout the country.
Penny Dowen joined the Association in 1996. During this
time, she has served in a number of key administrative roles including
office manager and fiscal officer. Penny is not an unsung hero;
she is a hero. She has proven, under fire, to be a loyal, dedicated
and competent key staff person.
In Jaunary of 2003, Pattty McCarthy joined the Association
staff as director of a unique and special project called
Friends of Recovery - VT (FOR - VT). Patty has become the
face and voice of this important project which is creating a
network of Vermonters who are in recovery from alcohol and substance
Elena Esteban Hollister is the web site expert for both
organizations, besides assuming a host of other activities and
is the architect and designer of the Associations web site,
which already has been ranked #2 in the nation for small non-profit