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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Harmless is MHAPC Person of the Year

Friday, May 7, 2010

Patti Harmless, left, received Mental Health America of Putnam County's Person of the Year Award Thursday night. Pictured with Harmless are MHAPC Executive Director Eileen Johnson and Board President Bobby Hopper.
GREENCASTLE -- Patti Harmless has been involved in a plethora of community service pursuits in Putnam County.

She has served on boards, councils and committees of the Domestic Task Force, Child Protective Team, Department of Child Services Region 9, Putnam County Resource Council, Safe Schools Committee, Child Abuse Prevention Committee, Indiana Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Council and the National Night Out Committee.

She has worked for Mental Health America of Putnam County, has served as the P.I.E. Coalition director and currently serves as the Court Appointed Special Advocate director for Putnam County.

For her dedication to so many causes, Harmless was lauded Thursday night with Mental Health America of Putnam County's Person of the Year award.

"I am just so surprised and honored," a teary-eyed Harmless said.

MHAPC Board President Bobby Hopper presented the award to Harmless during MHAPC's annual meeting, which was presented as a kick-off to Mental Health Month.

"(Harmless) is an outstanding advocate for both children and adults, and anyone who calls upon her for help receives it," he said.

Also recognized at Thursday's meeting were Educators of the Year Mary Jane Scamahorn and Karen Hamm.

"It was my suggestion that we honor both of them with our award this year," said MHAPC Board Secretary Charity Pankratz. "I think of them in tandem, as kind of a dynamic duo, because they have worked so closely with each other and I seldom have worked with one of them without the other."

Scamahorn and Hamm both worked for Putnam County Comprehensive Services before moving to New Pathways, a preschool established by the Scamahorn family.

Scamahorn's specialty was speech and language pathology, while Hamm's was teaching children with moderate cognitive delays.

Mental Health America of Putnam County Secretary Charity Pankratz, center, is flanked by MHAPC Educators of the Year Mary Jane Scamahorn, left, and Karen Hamm.
"It has been my privilege and delight to observe and learn from and work with these two talented women," Pankratz said.

MHAPC Executive Director Eileen Johnson said she was grateful for all the volunteers and community support the organization received.

Johnson said Mental Health America's theme for Mental Health Month was "Live Your Life Well." She directed the audience at the meeting to the organization's Web site, where 10 tips for maintaining good mental health are listed.

"Mental Health America celebrates awareness and tries to educate people," Johnson said. "It's important to recognize the heroes in the fight against mental illness."

Hopper agreed.

"Mental Health America does so much in our community that goes unseen," he said. "It goes under the radar -- just like mental illness itself."

Hopper urged people to give to MHAPC in whatever way they could.

"Even if you can't give monetarily, we'd love it if you'd volunteer some time," he said. "We can always use your help."

Hopper told the audience a story about his own son Tyler, who has autism. Hopper said programs provided by MHAPC have been a tremendous help to his son and family.

"Mental Health America provides plenty of outlets," he said. "You can't tell me there isn't a lot of good mental health help going on here. Mental Health America can help adults and children alike -- people just like my Tyler."

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Well deserved.

-- Posted by reckman on Fri, May 7, 2010, at 9:55 AM

Well deserved for sure!! Thanks Patty and all for all you do.

-- Posted by localman on Sat, May 8, 2010, at 9:13 PM

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