Friday, June 29, 2007

Mental Health Planning Council's Certificate of Appreciation

The CNMI Mental Health Planning Council presented me with a beautiful plaque earlier this morning in "Appreciation and Recognition for his Public Services, Volunteer Work and Advocacy in Improving the Lives of Individuals with Mental Health Disability, and most especially for Children with Special Needs."

So what does this have anything to do with Beautify CNMI? Glad you asked...

Back on January 18, 2007, I sent out this email:
My name is Steve Nguyen. I work as a Behavior Specialist for the public school system here in Saipan.

In the process of trying to find some help for a young man and while discussing and collaborating with a fellow member of the Mental Health Planning Council named Kaye Christian, an idea came to my mind to start a mental health awareness group here in the CNMI!

We've all heard about how a few passionate people started Beautify CNMI, a group of concerned citizens, groups, and government agencies united to enhance the CNMI's natural beauty and foster community pride. They picked up trash and are doing a great job cleaning up the beaches.

Beautify CNMI is doing its part to make our environment healthier, cleaner, and more beautiful. In this same spirit, we're going to start a mental health awareness group to clean up and wipe out the myths and stigmas that plague mental illness. We want to be the Beautify CNMI of mental health!

Drawing inspirations from...Beautify CNMI (environment)..., we are going to follow in the same footsteps set by Beautify CNMI and do the same thing for mental health that Beautify CNMI is doing for the environment! We will call this new group CAMI-CNMI (Coalition on the Anti-Stigmas of Mental Illness in CNMI). By uniting the powers of VOLUNTEERS from the community and from various agencies like PSS, Clubhouse, NMC, DYS, CGC, DPS, NMPASI, etc. we can and will ignite a mental health awareness revolution here in the CNMI!

So the short version is that I would like to share this award with the group that inspired me to create CAMI-CNMI. And CAMI-CNMI led to other projects and ideas.

So while Beautify CNMI was "spreading the beauty virus", I was working feverishly to help spread the "let's rid the CNMI of the stigmas of mental illness" virus.

I'm proud to have been a part of an on-going effort to develop local-capacity in training service providers and serving those with mental health needs and especially children with special needs.

This plaque given by the Mental Health Planning Council (MHPC) honoring my contributions to serving and advocating for individuals with mental health disability and children with special needs is validation of the efforts and partnerships of many people and agencies to serve those with mental and academic challenges.

So it is with the utmost appreciation that I humbly accept this award and thank Beautify CNMI for the inspiration. :)


Angelo Villagomez said...

We're going to miss you, Steve.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Angelo. We're REALLY gonna miss the beauty, the camaraderie, and the volunteer spirit of Beautify CNMI!

CNMI Blogger said...

Hi, Steve!
Those inspiring words still do the trick. We inspire you, and you, in turn, inspire us. Thanks for being such an asset to our community.

Thank you ever so much. We will all miss you and Miwa-san a lot!

Anonymous said...

Thank you Cinta. We will miss you guys!